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VOL. I. 





fttu . 


Memoir-writing is a part of history no 
longer confined to France. The Marchioness de 

S , herself an Englishwoman, to whom we 

are indebted for a considerable quantity of the 
anecdotes contained in the following Volumes, 
has shown in her former work, " IMemoirs of 
the Princesse de Lamballe," that she can relate 
Courtly Anecdotes with all the grace, spirit, and 
piquancy of the French writers of 3Iemoires ; 
and that production at once proved the facili- 
ties she enjoyed of obtaining the most secret 
anecdotes of the highest personages, and show- 
ed the familiar and confidential intercourse 
which their condescension permitted between 
themselves and the Authoress. The anecdotes 

vi editor's preface. 

in the present Volumes, derived from the same 
source, are likely, the Editor thinks, to excite 
the same attention, and to be read with the 
same eagerness as the " INIemoirs of the Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe." That a knowledge of them 
was acquired by means of personal introduc- 
tions of the highest order and value, is evident 
from the writer's own statement; and the 
living names which she cites are so illustrious 
in rank, as to forbid the possibiHty of a doubt 
of the truth of her assertions. The piquant 
and personal nature of many of the facts and 
incidents she records, sufficiently accounts for 
the secrecy in which they have hitlierto been 
buried ; the Ught and ludicrous nature of 
others, told of several grave and official charac- 
ters, would not have allowed them to be deco- 
rously related in the countries where the fact 
occurred ; and it would not, perhaps, have been 
safe for a native to have disclosed the hidden 
and trifling springs, which in foreign countries, 
as in our own, have produced the most impor- 
tant political events. 


The Northern Courts, particularly that of 
Russia, which seems destined to act so strikino- 
a part in deciding the future fate and mark- 
ing the future divisions of Europe and Asia, 
have been all visited by the Marchioness of 
S ; and their Sovereigns, Ministers, Gene- 
rals. Courtiers, Literary ]\Ien, and Artists, 
have all passed under a review which is no less 
remarkable for its freedom than its vivacity. 

Independently, however, of the opportu- 
nities which the writer of this part of the 
" Private Anecdotes of Foreign Courts" en- 
joyed, of discovering the secret history of 
Northern politics, it cannot but be curious 
to trace the effects of foreign usages, man- 
ners, and personal intercourse, upon the mind 
of an Englishwoman, transplanted from her 
free and native soil to a despotic Court. 
In this point of view the book possesses an 
important moral interest, joined to that which 
it deserves to enjoy as a repository of curious 

It would be unjust, however, to omit to 

viii editor's preface. 

characterize as eminently faithful and ve- 
racious, and as replete with interest of the 
strongest kind, the anecdotes, chiefly relating 
to the Prussian Court, which have been con- 
tributed to the present work by the Baron 
de M * * * * From the portfolio of that di- 
plomatist, these Volumes have been enriched 
with many facts and personal sketches, equally 
important and curious. The Editor would 
have been happy to have given the name of the 
Author at length, which would at once have 
stamped this part of the book with authen- 
ticity ; but the writer, with a natural deli- 
cacy, solicited the Editor, in his case, " to 
preserve I'anonyme ;" and respect for the feel- 
ings of a disgraced Minister, at once decided 
him to grant the request, even at the hazard 
of diminishing the authority of the Volumes. 

The very curious and amusing anecdotes of 
the Court of Naples, will present perpetual 
subjects of interest to English readers, inde- 
pendent of their own intrinsic value. In a 
Court influenced by two personages so mar- 

editor's preface. ix 

quans as T^ord Nelson and Lady Hamilton, 
and about whom so much has been said, the 
writer would necessarily find much to tell : 
and accordingly some very strange particulars 
in the lives of both are in this department 
of the " Private Anecdotes" unfolded. The 
romantic story of Murat, the frequent insur- 
rections of the rebel chiefs, the characteristic 
sketches of cruel and profligate ministers, com- 
bine with its peculiar English interest, to ren- 
der the Italian Anecdotes not the least piquant 
portion of these various and amusing volumes. 
The second division of the work is con- 
fined to the Court of Napoleon ; and contains 
perhaps more facts tending to throw a strong 
light upon the mysterious character of that 
illustrious Individual, than even the more 
elaborate and pretending compositions to 
which his death has given rise. Some of the 
facts relative to the secret history of the 
divorce of Josephine, are now for the first 
time given to English readers; the personal 
habits and manners of Bonaparte are un- 

X editor's preface. 

veiled witliout extenuation or malice ; his 
private conversations and remarks are faith- 
fullv recorded bv a kind of Court Boswell, 
who relates even his own disgraces; and the 
authority of w^hose work is guaranteed, not 
only by tlie tone of frankness, fidelity, and 
naivete, whicli characterize it, but by the fact 
that he held the situation of Prefect of the 
Palace from 1805 till the period of the Em- 
peror's abdication of the throne of France. 

The EnnoR. 




Origin of the marriage of the Princess Sophia of Anhalt- 
zerbst, afterwards Catherine II. to Peter III. — Intrigues of* 
the Princess Anhaltzerbst to secure the match for her 
daughter. — Friendly conduct of EHzabeth. — The negotia- 
tion aided by Frederick the Great. — Mutual attachment of 
Peter and the Princess Sophia. — Sudden malady of the 
former. — Its effects. — Dissimulation of Catherine. — The 
marriage takes place. — Prudent conduct of Catherine. — 
The arrogance and intrigues of the Princess of Anhalt 
causes her banishment from Russia. — The first amour of 
Catherine with SaltikofF. — Amusements at PeterhofF. — 
Declaration of SaltikofF. — His departure to, and return 
from Moscow. — Address and presence of mind of Cathe- 
rine. — Her interview with the Empress. — Confidence 
restored on the part of Elizabeth and the Grand-duke. 

Page 1—27. 



Rivalry between the Empress and Catherine. — Dissolute 
character of the former. — Her accession to power through 
crime. — Abolition of capital punishment. — Caprice and 
extravagance of Elizabeth on the subject of dress. — Cha- 
racter of Catherine. — Reply of Princess DaschkofF to the 
Empress. — Birth of Paul, and hatred of Catherine towards 
the infant. — Humane conduct of the Princess Daschkoff. 
— Military innovations of Peter III. — They furnish the 
party of Catherine with a pretext for dethroning him. — 
The plan adopted for this purpose — Project formed by 
the Emperor. — His visit to Prince Ivan. — The conspira- 
tors, headed by the Princess DaschkofF, gain over the 
troops at Saint Petersburgh, and proclaim Catherine. 
— Degradation and sufferings of the dethroned Emperor. 
— His assassination. — Hypocrisy of Catherine on that oc- 
casion. — Reflections on the conduct of the Empress.— 
The Princess Daschkoff exonerated from any share in the 
murder of Peter III. Page 28—51. 


The licentious gallantries of Catherine II. — Her mode of 
selecting new lovers. — Etiquette observed on these occa- 
sions. — Obligations imposed on the favourites of the Em- 
press. — Abruptness of their dismissal, — Catherine's libe- 
rality. — Anecdote of MomonofF and his wife. — Power and 
influence of Prince Potemkin. — Anecdote of Marchesi, the 
opera singer. — Conduct of the Empress on the occasion. 
— Violent cApduct of Potemkin towards Catherine. — They 
live on terms of harmony after their separation. — Anomaly 
in the character of the Empress. — Her attention to public 
affairs. — -The famous domestic edict. — Its salutary efFect. 
— Brutal conduct of the Duke of Wurtemburg to his wife. 
— Encouragement given to foreigners by Catherine. 

Page 52 — 70. 



Accession of Paul.— Reciprocal hatred between him and 
Catherine. — He rejects the whole of her household. — Pre- 
cautions adopted to prevent himself from being poisoned. — 
Eccentricities which marked the first days of his reign. — 
Singular address to the murderers of his father. — Treat- 
ment of Platon ZoubofF.— The part which this favourite of 
Catherine is supposed to have taken in the assassination of 
Paul. — Exile of the Princess DaschkofF. — Character of the 
Princess. — System of Catherine with regard to the children 
of Paul. — Some account of his first wife, the Princess of 
Hesse Darmstadt. — Cruel conduct of Catherine towards 
the Princess. - Page 71— 82. 


Introduction of Stanislaus Poniatowsky at the Court of Saint 
Petersburgh. — He attracts the notice of Catherine. — Their 
intimacy promoted by the Princess Daschkoff. — Stanislaus 
excites the jealousy of the courtiers, and is ordered to quit 
the capital. — Intrigue to bring him back. — He is named 
Plenipotentiary, and returns. — Farther observations on the 
abandoned character of the Empress Elizabeth. — Conduct 
of the Grand-duke Peter. — Adventure at Oranienbaum. — 
Statements of Dalolio relative to the birth of Paul and the 
Princess Anne. — Conduct of Catherine towards her former 
lover. — Contrasted with that of Paul. — Death of Stanis- 
laus. — Honour paid to his memory. — Character and vir- 
tues of the last King of Poland. — Partition Scheme. — Its 
retroactive effect. — Anecdote relative to the last partition 
of Poland. — Secret motives of Catherine. — Declaration of 
Stanislaus to the patriot Kosciusko. — Prince Radzivil's 
opinion of Mr. Gardiner. — Brutal conduct of Stackelberg 
towards Stanislaus. Page 83 — 112. 



Arrival at Copenhagen. — Reception by the Crown Prince 
and royal family. — Amusements and society of the Danish 
capital. — Details relative to the persecution of Queen 
Caroline Matilda. — Character of the Queen Dowager 
Juhana Maria. — Marriage of Matilda to the Crown Prince, 
— Attachment of the latter for his wife. — Measures taken 
by Juliana to separate them. — The Crown Prince is re- 
commended to travel. — His sudden return to the capital. 
— New machinations of Juliana Maria. — Their effect on 
the health and feelings of the royal couple. — The mind of 
the Crown Prince poisoned against his wife. — He is in- 
duced to sign an order for the arrest of traitors ; the name 
of Matilda is included. — Plan of the Queen Dowager and 
Goldberg to prevent an interview between Matilda and 
her husband. — Trial and condemnation of the Queen and 
her alleged paramour. — She is divorced and banished from 
Denmark. — Cruelty and injustice of the trial. — Extra- 
ordinary policy of George HI. — Statement of Sarti, the 
Composer. — Usurpation of all the power by Juliana and 
her satellites. — Death of Matilda Christian VH. — Admi- 
rable conduct of the Crown Prince, now Frederick VI.- — 
Juliana and her accomplices removed from power. — Depar- 
ture for Stockholm. — Singular conversation with an old 
seaman. Page 113 — 138. 



Journey from Helsenburg to Stockholm. — Face of the coun- 
try. — Arrival in the Swedish capital. — Count Erval Fersen. 
— Drottingholm and review. — Gustavus III. — The Princess 
Sophia Albertina. — Court drawing-room. — Introduction 
to the Princess Frederica of Baden. — Her Highness' Dame 
(lildiiueur. — Royal marriage, and splendid banquet at the 


Vicks Saal. — Ludicrous incident The Takel Tanse. — 

Magnificent representation of the celebrated drama of 
" Gustavus Vasa." Page 139 — 155. 


Natural characteristics of the Swedish territory. — Its expor- 
tation of dried fish. — Relative modes of preparing it prac- 
tised in Sweden and in Scotland. — Preference of the latter. 
— Successive territorial losses. — Personal peculiarities of 
the Swedes. — Swedish inns, and hospitality. — Gustavus 
III. and the Empress Catherine of Russia. — Committee of 

dress. — The Princesses DaschcofF and Baratinzky Lally, 

the violinist. — His dismay on receiving a compliment from 
Gustavus. — Explanation of the Abbe Vogler. — Marriage of 
Gustavus. — His singular conduct towards his wife. —The 
Count de Munck. — Alleged illegitimacy of the heir to the 
throne. — Ulrica, the Queen Mother. — Her sedulous cspi- 
onnage of the proceedings of the King and his confidential 
servant. — Ambitious and vindictive character of this Prin- 
cess. — Atrocious reports disseminated by her, respecting 
the morals of her two eldest sons. Page 156 — 171. 


The authoress encounters, at the baths of Carlsbad, in Bo- 
hemia, the Duchess of Mecklenburgh Schwerin and her 
suite. — Arrival of a courier from the Duke. — Contents of 
the despatches. — Invitation of the Duchess. — Character of 
Gustavus Adolphus, successor of Gustavus HI. — His pro- 
jected marriage with the Princess of Mecklenburgh pro- 
hibited by Catherine the Great. — Departure of the King 
for St. Petersburgh, with his uncle, the Duke of Suder- 
mania. — The Empress proposes her niece to Gustavus 
Adolphus. — Mutual affection of the parties. — Attempted 
treachery of Catherine, and restraint of the King of Swe- 
den. — He refuses to sign the marriage contract, and de- 


parts for Stockholm Astonishment and dismay of the 

Courtiers. — Surreptitious treaty between Catherine and 
Gustavus III.— Intrigues of the Duke of Sudermania, 
afterwards Charles XIII. Page 172—182. 


The British Army at Bremen. — Extortion and insolence of 
an innkeeper and a magistrate. — Disorderly conduct, and 
disasters of the English troops. — High-road to Hamburgh 
and Hanover. — Advantages of Macadamization. — Lud- 
wigslust and its ceremonials. — Etiquette in the minor 
German States.— The Red Deer at Munich. — Method of 
ablution there. — Hotels of Vienna. — A German bed, and 
one of its occupants. Page 183 — 192. 


Further particulars relative to the Court of Stockholm. — 
Influence of Frederick the Great in regulating the succes- 
sion to the Swedish throne. — The Princess Ulrica, sister 
to Frederick ; her personal deformity, and how occasion- 
ed. — Advice of Louis XW to the Duchess of Parma. — 
Intrigues of Ulrica after the death of her husband, Adol- 
phus Frederick. — Sterility of the Duchess of Sudermania, 
and fruitfulness of the Princess Sophia Albertina. — A 
stratagem and a disappointment. — The woolly-headed in- 
truder, and the cushion-baby Reconciliation of Gustavus 

in. to his bride, and consequent birth of Gustavus Adol- 
phus. — Behaviour of the Queen-dowager on the occasion. 
— The Duke of Austragozia in the South of France. — 
His communication to the Authoress. — Baron d'Armfeldt 
and the Princess De Rohan. — Interesting facts gathered 
from a correspondence between the Baron and Count 
Fersen, &c. Page 193— 212. 



Characteristic Sketch of Count Erval Fersen, — His dis- 
interested attachment to Gustavus III. — Accompanies 
that Monarch to the various Courts of Europe. — His 
eclat at Versailles. — The King of Sweden and Marie An- 
toinette. — Defeated manoeuvre of Gustavus. — Count Fer- 
sen left behind, as ambassador to the French Court. — 
Confidence reposed in him by Louis XVI. — Glance at the 
earlier days of the French Revolution. — Specimens of the 
vacillating character of Louis. — The Queen at the Opera. — 
Prompt behaviour of Fersen. — Her Majesty accomplishes 
her retreat from the theatre. — Plot of the Crown Monopoly. 
— Real intentions of Louis in quitting France. — Scheme 
projected for that purpose by Fersen. — Frustrated by the 
violence of the mob. — Count Mirabeau. — Fersen partakes 
the flight and return of the Royal Family, and afterwards 
escapes from France. — Previous quarrel on his account, 
between the Princess de Lamballe and the Duchess d'Or- 
leans. — Fersen nominated by his Sovereign Governor of 
Upsal. — His mission to Carlsbad, and its results. — Murder 
of a Republican emissary, and accusation of the Count. — 
His innocence manifested. — Congress at Rastadt, and po- 
licy of Sweden at that period. — Conduct of Fersen re- 
lative to the disputes between Gustavus Adolphus and 
Charles XIII. — Dethronement of the former. — Fersea's 
spirited remonstrance and subsequent insurrection.— His 
death, and that of the Prince of Augustenberg. 

Page 213—241. 


Axiom of Frederick the Great.— The appeal of General 
Swieten, and its reception — The old Widow and her Se- 
venteen sons. — ^The veteran malcontent, and his flight. — 
Vol. I. b 


Frederick and Marshal Loudon at Potsdam. — The sign of 
" the Prasrue." — The Countess de Vosse and the Baroness 
de Knoblsdroff.— Frederick I. and Charles VI.— A true 
Prophecy.— The Page and the cherries. — The Jew Banker. 
— A certificate for " value received." — Prussian coinage 
during the Seven Years' War. — A royal method of " Rais- 
ing the Wind." Page 242—257. 


Intrigues of the Baron de Stein in 1808. — ^The Embassy of 
the Assessor Hope. — Imprudent conduct of that individual. 
— His arrest, and seizure of his despatches. — Curious let- 
ter to Prince Wittgenstein from Baron de Stein and the 
Countess Voss. — ^Trepidation of Marshal Soult's inter- 
preter. — Behaviour of the Marshal. — The anti-Gallican 
parrot. — Colonel de Gautherot's embassy to Paris, and re- 
turn to Berlin. — His interview with Napoleon to transmit 
the substance of the intercepted letters. — Deportment of 
the French Emperor. — Soult's remarks thereupon. — The 
" Delicate Investigation." — Disavowal of the King and 
Queen of Prussia. — Disgrace of the Baron de Stein, and 
his outlawry by Napoleon. — He subsequently enters into 
the service of Russia. Page 258 — 269. 


Marshal Soult's administration at Berlin. — His popularity 
with all classes. — His gentleness and generosity as con- 
trasted to the severity of his predecessor, Victor. — The 
House of Cadets. — The inspector of this Institution, and 
Colonel L. — Their reception by Marshal Soult. — A whole 
estal)lishment on the point of perishing from hunger. — 
The Marshal's bounty, and the singular expression of gra- 
titude produced by it. — Acknowledgments on the part of 


the King of Prussia of the Marshal's benevolence. — His 
recal and the appointment of Marshal Davoust. — ^That 
Commander detects a correspondence between the Prince 
of Orange and Major Schill. — His considerate conduct. — 
Hostile preparations of Austria. — General Andreossi ; and 
his dispatches. — Conference between Marshal Davoust and 
the author. — General St. Hilaire. — Count de St. Marsan 
— His liberal behaviour and its happy result. 

Page 270 — 282. 


Justus Gruner, President of the Prussian Police. — His aug- 
mented powers, and the confidence placed in him by the 
King. — His treacherous proposal to Frederick-William 
and Alexander. — His consequent disgrace. — He is found 
upon the Austrian territory and imprisoned. — His release 
demanded by the monarchs of Russia and Prussia. — His 
restoration to the favour of Alexander. — His rigorous con- 
duct as Civil Governor of Berg. — Counsellor Bein. — Gru- 
ner at the head of the Secret Police in Paris, during its 
occupation by the Allied Sovereigns. — His rejection by the 
King of Saxony as Ambassador from Prussia. — His death. 
— Character, both public and private. — Marshal Blucher 
and the Prince de Hardenberg. — ^The Marshal's passion 
for gambling. — " A New Way to Pay Old Debts.'' — Blu- 
cher's opinion as to who won the battle of Waterloo. — 
Counts Haugwitz and Schullenbourg. — Corruption and 
manoeuvring of the former. — Policy of Napoleon. — Count 
SchuUenbourg's perfidy and ingratitude. Page 283 — 300. 


Prince Eugene of Wurtemberg. — His conferences at Stut- 
gard, with the Emperor Napoleon. — Mission of the Prince 
to his relative and Sovereign, the King of Prussia. — His 
interview with that Monarch, and the Emperor Alexander 


at Potsdam. — Indignation of the latter. — Departure of Eu- 
gene for Berlin. — His explanation to the Author. — He ad- 
dresses a letter and memorial to Frederick-William. — His 
recall. — Fatal results of the battle of Jena. — Memoir of 
Duke Louis of Wurtemberg. — His brother Henry. — That 
Prince's lavish expenditure upon his regiment. — Breach of 
promise on the part of the King of Prussia. — Quarrel 
between his Majesty and Duke Henry. — Their recon- 
ciliation. — Mademoiselle Caroline Alexi, daughter of the 
director of the theatre at Oels. Page 301 — SI 2. 


Apologetic Mission of Marshal Duroc. — -Influence of theQueen 
of Prussia over her husband. — Her attachment to the Rus- 
sian Imperial Family. — Manoeuvres of Duroc and the 

. French ambassador at Berlin, to counteract the influence of 
the Queen. — Mademoiselle Augusta Schultz. — Plot formed 
against her by the Prussian officers of the garrison. — 
Interposition of the King in her favour. — Intrigues found- 
ed upon the latter circumstance. — Interview between the 
King and Augusta in the gardens of Charlottenbourg. — 
Rumours consequent thereupon. — Remonstrance of the 
Queen. — Her Majesty's precipitate departure for Pyrmont. 
— Personal sketches of the Prussian Royal Family. — 
Prince Louis Ferdinand, and his fate. — Prince Augustus 
and Madame Wichman. — Napoleon and the Duchess of 

Saxe Weimar.— Mission of the Canon Tam First entry of 

Bonaparte into Berlin.— His reception of the Prussian 
ministers. — Cause of the rupture between France and 
Prussia, which was followed by these events. — Unrelent- 
ing hatred of Frederick William to Napoleon, and his 
equally earnest affection for the Emperor Alexander. 

Page 3 13— -334. 



Misrepresentations respecting the death of the Queen of 
Prussia. — Authentic account of her indisposition, and its 
fatal result. — Her Majesty's last moments. — Her inter- 
ment in a Chapel built for the purpose at Charlottenbourg. 
— The Grand-duke Constantine of Russia. — His popu- 
larity at the Court of Berlin. — A scene at the Opera. — 
Mademoiselle Hentchel. — Her beauty, and the intimation 
of a visit to her from Constantine. — Preparations for 
his Imperial Highness's reception. — The Grand-duke's 
disappointment, and precipitate retreat. — Departure of 
Major Schill from Berlin in 1805. — Interviews between 
him and the Author. — His presage of his own fate. — ^The 
female patriot, Madame Obermann. — Biographical sketch 
of her Royal Highness the present Duchess of Cumber- 
land. Page 335—350. 


Farther anecdotes relative to the Grand-duke Constantine. — 
The famous Russian General Souwarrow. — His peculiari- 
ties on the field of battle. — His treatment of a Secretary 
of Legation. — Scene on parade between him and the Empe- 
ror Paul. — The Emperor Napoleon and Count Mankow. — 
An evening party at St. Petersburgh. — Prince Lapuchin. — 
Klopstock the poet. — His eulogiums of the Emperor Alex- 
ander. — His disinterested spirit. — Feodora, the fair exile 
of Siberia. — Her journey to St. Petersburgh. — Alexander's 
generous behaviour. Page 351 — 364. 


Rupture between the King of Prussia and Gustavus Adol- 
phus, thedeposed King of Sweden. — Martial Despatches. — 
Order of the Black Eagle. — Interposition of the Emperor 
Alexander. — Manoeuvres of his Envoy. — Amicable Ar- 
rangement. — Causes of Bonaparte's Indignation at Gusta- 


vus Adolphus. — Intrigues of his Agents at Stockholm. — 
Abdicatiou of theKing. — Personal description of the famous 
Count de Munck. — Interview and Treaty between him and 
his reputed Son, Gustavus. — Conference on the Tilsit Raft. 
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia. — Origin of Bona- 
parte's choice of Maria Louisa. — Extracts from a Letter 
of that Princess to Count Edling. — Marshal Loudon at the 
Siege of Belgrade. — Sketch of the Marshal's early life. 

Page 365—384. 



Character and Memoir of Alviso Mocenigo. — Journey of the 
Authoress to the Tyrol. — ^The Archduchess Marianna, and 
Marchesi the castrato. — Chagrin of the latter at his cold 
reception at Inspruck. — Pacchierotti at a private concert 
of the Queen of France. — Observations on the style of 
that celebrated Soprano. — The Elector of Bavaria, Charles 
Theodore. — Incidents met with by the Authoress at his 
Court. — The Count de Sahano. — Compliment paid by 
Haydn to the Authoress. — ^The late King and Queen of 
Bavaria. — Biographical Sketch of his Majesty. — Presump- 
tuous conduct of Madame Catalani. 

Page 384—404. 


Marriage of Ferdinand IV., late King of Naples, with the 
Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria. — Sinister policy 
of the Austrian Cabinet. — Ineflfectual chagrin and dismis- 
sal of Tanucci. — His successor, the Marquis de Sambuca. 
— Introduction of Acton, the favourite of the Queen. — 
Breaking out of the French Revolution. — Conduct pursued 
by Caroline. — Singular condition of the Court of Naples at 


the period. — The Junta of State. — Its incarceration of 
several unoffending youths, and its abolition. — Another 
sanguinary tribunal established. — Vanni, its president, and 
his retributive fate. — General Mack, and his conduct when 
prisoner of war in France. — Assassination of a messenger 
despatched by the Queen to Nelson. — Retirement of the 
Court to "Sicily. — Imputed orders of her Majesty. — Con- 
flagration of the Neapolitan fleet. 

Page 405—419. 



Remarks on the emigration of the Court to Sicily. — The 
" Parthenopean Republic." — Roger de Damas and the 
Cardinal de RufFo. — The cruelties of Mammone Gaetano, 
a Royalist chieftain. — Sketch of the belligerent Cardinal. 
— Atrocities perpetrated on the delivery of Naples into 
the hands of the Royalists. — Capitulation of Chateau Neuf. 
— The violation by Caroline and her creature Acton. — 
Observations on the conduct of Lord Nelson. — ^Treachery 
of the Commander of the French troops. — Characteristic 
sketches of Queen Caroline, of Lady Hamilton, and of 
Acton. — The principal victims to the violation of the 
treaty. Page 420 — 441. 


Nomination of Joseph Bonaparte to the throne of Naples. — 
Description of this Prince. — His favourite ministers, Sali- 
cetti and Roederer. — Arrival of Joseph's Family. — Surprise 
of the Neapolitans at his recall. — Nomination of Joachim 
Murat. — ^Thoughts on certain portions of the policy of 
Napoleon. — Murat's peculiar character and talents.— He 
entertains all his poor relations at a banquet, upon his 


being invested with the title of Prince of the French Em- 
pire-General characteristics and mistakes of Bonaparte s 
kinc^s-Joachim's love of personal display-Predomi- 
nance of the military during his reign-Caroline Murat. 
-Opinion entertained of her by Talleyrand.-Murat s de- 
termination to hold himself independent of Napoleon.- 
Bad faith evinced towards him by the French Emperor.- 
Retort of Joachim.-Mock invasion of Sicdy by Murat.- 
Unfortunate piece of neglect, compromising the safety ot 
the Neapolitan army.-Sir Hudson Lowe.-The Pnnce of 
Canisa -Death of Murat.-Latter days of Carohne Murat 
at Naples.-Her conciliating and admirable behaviour- 
Temporary incredulity of the Neapolitans as to Joachim s 
fate.-Explanatory sketch of the sect of the Carbonari. 

Page 44-2 — 469 






Origin of the marriage of the Princess Sophia of Anhalt- 
zerbst, afterwards Catherine II. to Peter III. — Intrigues 
of the Princess Anhaltzerbst to secure the match for her 
daughter. — Friendly conduct of Elizabeth. — The negotia- 
tion aided by Frederick the Great. — IMutual attachment 
of Peter and the Princess Sophia. — Sudden malady of the 
former. — Its effects. — Dissimulation of Catherine. — The 
marriage takes place. — Prudent conduct of Catherine. — 
The arrogance and intrigues of the Princess of Anhalt 
causes her banishment from Russia. — The first amour of 
Catherine with SaltikofF. — Amusements at Peterhoff — De- 
claration of Saltikoff. — His departure to, and return from 
Moscow.— Address and presence of mind of Ca,therine. 
— Her interview with the Empress. — Confidence restored 
on the part of Elizabeth and the Grand-duke. 

I INTRODUCE my Anecdotes by several curi- 
ous particulars relative to the intrigues, private 
VOL. I. li • 


and political, of the Court of Russia, at which 
I was for some time resident. 

All Europe has been deceived as to the real 
cause of the matrimonial alliance which took 
place between Peter the Third, while he was 
Grand-duke, and the Princess Sophia of An- 
haltzerbst. It has been attributed to the great 
influence which Frederick, King of Prussia, 
exercised over the mind of Peter. That the 
Prussian monarch was anxious for their union 
there is no doubt ; yet it will be proved that 
this marriage, which originated in a sentiment 
of mutual affection, almost conceived at first 
sight by both parties, and which ended so tra- 
gically to the one, and triumpliantly to the 
other, did not, as Tsome writers have asserted, 
take i)lace in consequence of the supposed in- 
trigues of Frederick. 

The truth is, that the Empress Elizabeth, 
long before she had been raised to the sove- 
reignty, had, during her father's life, been pro- 
mised in marriage to the Prince of Holstein 
Eutin, brother to the reigning Princess of An- 
haltzerbst, the mother of Princess Sophia. This 
jirince, whom she tenderly loved, was unfortu- 
nately carried off' by sudden death, on the very 
eve of their intended union. Tims cruelly dis- 
appuintid in all her hopes, Elizabeth made a 


VOW of never after entering into the matrimo- 
nial state, a resolution which she kept publicly, 
though it did not prevent her from a more 
than ordinary indulgence in those excesses for 
which so many of her contemporaries w^ere 
celebrated. Indeed, ill-nature has gone so far 
as to assimilate her habits and character to one 
of the wives of the Emperor Clodius, adding, 
that, like another Messalina, the gratification of 
her passions knew no bounds. Notwithstand- 
ing the amorous predilections of Elizabeth, 
she always looked back with the fondest recol- 
lection on the object of her first attachment, 
and never spoke of him without shedding 
tears, even to the last days of her life. 

The Princess of Anhalt w^as, therefore, well 
aware of Elizabeth's attachment to the memory 
of her late brother ; and when she became Em- 
press, resolved to profit by the circumstance, in 
securing the Imperial crown for her daughter. 
This project being communicated to the great 
Frederick, he applauded the scheme, and pro- 
mised to aid her with all his influence. The 
Princess of Anhalt soon after took her daugh- 
ter to the court of Saint Petersburgh, where 
they were received with open arms, and treat- 
ed in the most friendly manner by Elizabeth. 
The young stranger, who was then considered 

B 2 


handsome, and adorned with all those graces of 
art so interesting in early life, did not fail to 
make the desired impression on the mind and 
heart of the Grand-duke, this being indeed 
the great object in view, and sole motive of the 
visit to the court of Elizabeth, 

Peter, the presumptive heir, though without 
any graces of person, was a fine well-grown 
young man, with a good figure, to which he 
added amiable manners and a pleasing address ; 
so that the attachment thus formed was soon 
observed by the court, and, to the satisfaction 
of the two mothers, it seemed to be reciprocal. 
Agreeably to the part she had proposed to her- 
self, no sooner had the Princess of Anhalt 
perceived the effect produced on the Grand- 
duke by the society of her daughter, than she 
seized the first favourable moment of throwing 
herself at the feet of Elizabeth, and imploring 
her protection for the two lovers ; taking care 
to remind the Empress of the passion for the 
late Prince of Holstein, which she herself had 
never been able to conquer, and entreating her 
Imperial Majesty to complete the happiness of 
the niece of him w^hose loss she still so bitterly 

Whether it arose from a sentiment of grati- 
tude toAvards the memory of her departed lover, 
or some other motive connected with the poll 


tical intrigues of the day, Elizabeth appeared 
to have anticipated the wishes of the Princess ; 
for she not only heard the proposal with plea- 
sure, but mingled her tears with those of the 
suppliant, embraced her, and terminated the in- 
terview by promising that her daughter should 
be Grand-duchess of Russia. 

On the following day, the Empress being at- 
tired in her imperial robes, announced to the 
senate and council of state, as well as to the 
Princes and nobles of the empire, the choice 
she had made for the future consort of her 
nephew, and presenting Catherine as Grand- 
duchess of Russia, invited the foreign ambas- 
sadors to sanction the marriage by their pre- 
sence at the approaching ceremonies. This 
being determined, and a day fixed for carrying 
the same into effect with all that Eastern pomp 
and magnificence which Elizabeth was so fond 
of displaying on such occasions, the whole 
court was filled with joy and gaiety at the pro- 
mised felicity of the Imperial couple, as the 
natural result of mutual affection so rarely 
combined in royal marriages ; when all parties 
were suddenly thrown into the greatest alarm 
for the life of the Grand-duke, who was attacked 
with a violent fever, the precursor of a still more 
dangerous disease — the small-pox ; so that Ca- 
therine, like Elizabeth, was also on the point of 


losing her lover. He, however, recovered : but 
the malady had left such cruel traces, as to 
cause the most disagreeable metamorphosis* 
leaving Peter not merely a wreck of what he 
had lately been, but almost hideous to the 

During the Grand-duke's illness, his intend- 
ed bride was not allowed to approach the apart- 
ment ; but she was regularly informed of the 
progress of the malady by her mother, who, 
perceiving the extraordinary change effected by 
the disease, became so much alarmed at the pro- 
bable consequences on the mind of the young 
Princess, whenever they should meet, that she 
determined to prepare her for the first interview, 
by telling her that the Grand-duke had become 
the most frightful and ugly being she ever be- 
held. This repulsive intimation was accom- 
panied by an urgent recommendation that she 
would dissimulate her disgust, and not betray 
any <nitward symptoms of disappointment or 

This seasonable advice was not thrown away ; 
inex])erienced as she was, the young Princess 
had lived long enough in courts to know how 
to restrain her feelings, whenever an object was 
to be gained. Accordingly, when the inter- 
view took j)lace, she ran to meet the Duke 
with open arms, and congratulating him on his 


fortunate recovery, expressed the greatest joy 
at the prospect of their approaching union. 
Notwithstanding the above artful manifestation 
of outward joy, the Princess had scarcely re- 
tired to her own apartments, before her real 
feelings were betrayed, for she sank on a sofa, 
became convulsed, and was confined to her bed 
several days. 

However violent the internal struggles of 
the young Princess may have been, she made 
no attempt to impede or protract the solem- 
nization of the nuptial ceremony, while the 
Empress seemed quite overjoyed to find her 
jyrotegee so reconciled to the Grand-duke's total 
loss of personal attraction. The Princess of 
Anhalt, on the other hand, aware of the in- 
ward sentiments of her daughter, and dreading 
the consequences, felt daily more anxious to 
see the marriage concluded. But the subse- 
quent history of Catherine renders it probable 
that she had already anticipated her future 
greatness by this alliance; no wonder, there- 
fore, if her motives lor wishing to hasten the 
ceremony were somewhat different from those 
of her mother and the Empress. 

Such being the auspices under which the 
marriage took place, it could scarcely be ex- 
pected that much domestic harmony or real 
affection was likely to follow in its train. 


Indeed the sudden and unalterable aversion 
which was soon after evinced by Catherine, 
has been attributed to another cause in addi- 
tion to the Grand-duke's loss of personal at- 
traction. It was even said at court, that while 
the bride blended her contempt for her hus- 
band with a sentiment of commiseration, by 
no means usual on such occasions, a feeling of 
shame and disappointment on his part, at being 
unable to consummate the marriage, could only 
find a refuge in debauchery and intoxication. 

The conduct of Catherine in this dilemma, 
which would have overwhelmed most of her 
sex, was marked by the greatest prudence. 
Closely adhering to the lessons and injunc- 
tions of the Princess, her mother, she retired 
from the intrigues of the court of Elizabeth 
to the palace of Peterhoff, where her whole 
time was occupied in studying how to increase 
her popularity among all classes, and forming 
a party among the most powerful nobles of 
the empire. Those amorous predilections, for 
which she was afterwards so celebrated, were 
completely concealed at this period, that they 
might not interfere with the paramount ob- 
ject of realizing her future plans ; and if, dur- 
ing her seclusion from the court, Catherine 
did not succeed in gaining either the friend- 


ship or confidence of the Empress, she con- 
ducted herself in a manner to deserve her 

It is a singular fact, with regard to the Prin- 
cess of Anhalt, that, while she acted as so 
prudent an adviser and guide to her daughter, 
her own conduct was so impolitic and over- 
bearing towards the nobility and foreign mi- 
nisters, that the Empress, in order to put a 
stop to the cabals which she was constantly 
creating, and prevent an open rupture, was 
compelled not only to withdraw her friendship 
from the Princess, but banish her from the 
Russian dominions altogether.* 

This separation was at first apparently a 
source of deep regret to Catherine ; but the bril- 
liant prospect, which seemed already to burst 
forth, added to some secret amours and a va- 
riety of public amusements, soon consoled her 
for the absence of her mother, with whom, 
however, a correspondence was kept up for 

* This Princess died at Paris in 1760 in great distress. 
It will scarcely be credited that Catherine, Avhose muni- 
ficence and liberality to men of genius and talent were almost 
proverbial, not only peremptorily refused to pay her mo- 
ther's just debts, but suffered her to pine in want, though 
repeatedly a])plied to on the subject by the ministers of 
France and Russia resident at the respective courts. 


some years through the medium of the Baron 
de Breteuil, Freneh ambassador at the court of 
Saint Petersburgh. 

Among the young noblemen who formed the 
court of the Grand-duke, and most of whom 
were occupied in those continual orgies of dis- 
sipation adopted by the Prince himself, there 
was one, at least, who distinguished himself 
from the rest of this dissolute crew, as much by 
his good taste in cultivating the fine arts, as by 
the urbanity of his character, and his manly per- 
sonal qualifications. This was the young Prince 
SaltikofF, the Grand-duke's principal chamber- 
lain, and who, though a constant companion of 
his excesses, yet blushed in secret for the frailties 
of his master. Although still very young, Sal- 
tikoff had become conspicuous in several affairs 
of gallantry ; and though somewhat effeminate, 
such was his ambition to shine in this way, that, 
while his personal courage was not unfrequently 
called in question by an offended husband or 
brother, he had often carried his boldness so far 
as to risk beini^ sent to Siberia. The idol of 
the Russian ladies, and anxious to render him- 
self still more distinguished, no wonder that 
the attentions of Saltikoff should have been 
early directed to tlie Grand-ducliess. How- 
ever this design may have been favoured by 


the general circumstances of the court, and the 
well-known neglect shown towards Catherine 
by her husband, caution was necessary to avoid 
suspicions which must have proved fatal to all 
his future hopes. He therefore commenced his 
new career of conquest by studiously observing 
the character of her whom he had marked out 
as a fit object to crown all his previous tri- 

Those to whom Nature has given a tact for 
observation, cannot have a better school for 
its improvement than a court. The experi- 
ence of SaltikofF had already enabled him to 
perceive, that, notwithstanding all the arts of 
Catherine and her studied hypocrisy, she was 
only assuming a part, in pretending to court 
privacy and retirement, for which neither na- 
ture nor inclination ever intended her ; and al- 
though masked under that thick veil of dissi- 
mulation, for which she was so distinguished 
throughout her long reign, he was, perhaps, 
the first to discover the unlimited ambition of 
this extraordinary woman, as well as that she 
was imposing the most painful restraint on her 
feelings by confining herself within the walls of 
a country palace, while in her heart she lan- 
guished for publicity and power. With all his 
profligacy, it formed a part of the Grand- duke's 


policy to prevent the influence which a woman 
of Catlierine's address and manner might have 
obtained at court ; and though she submitted 
to her present seclusion with the best possible 
grace, she evidently declined in health and spi- 
rits. This appeared an auspicious moment for 
SaltikofF, who, in order to cover his real designs, 
determined to adopt an expedient which had 
no immediate connection with them. One day 
in addressing the Grand-duke, he took occasion 
to notice the murmurs and complaints of the 
officers of his household, at their being kept in 
the country, deprived of those gaieties and di- 
versions which enlivened the court of her Im- 
perial Majesty, humbly suggesting, as a means 
of reconciling them to PeterhofF, that occasional 
balls and masquerades should be given, as at 
Saint Petersburgh. This recommendation of 
the chamberlain was listened to with much 
more indulgence than he anticipated from the 
strict economy enjoined by the Empress, and 
Saltikoff had the additional satisfaction of be- 
ing appointed to superintend the proposed 
f^tes. lie was thus enabled, inider pretext of 
dissipating the tedious hours of the Grand- 
duke and his officers, to open a new source of 
recreation to Catherine, and thus insensibly led 
the w.iy to the distinction with which he was 


subsequently honoured ; for it is scarcely to be 
doubted that the young aspirant found means 
to insure to himself the merit of having led to 
this animated innovation on the dull monotony 
of Peterhoff. 

The Grand-duchess did not long remain in- 
sensible to the respectful, the self-evident marks 
of attention of the Prince ; who, being besides 
favoured with a fine person and seducing man- 
ners, could hardly fail making a lively impres- 
sion on the heart of one who had been thus 
abandoned by her natural protector. While 
Saltikoff was inwardly exidting in the success 
of his assiduities, he felt convinced tliat the 
object of his ambition was not to be attained 
without great risk, and that, consequently, new 
precautions were called for as his advances pro- 
ceeded. Foreseeing, therefore, the danger of 
an open avowal of his sentiments, since it 
might lead to the ruin of his hopes, the favourite 
continued in that painful state of suspense, 
unwilling to recede and fearful of advancing, 
which is only known to those who have been 
placed in a similar situation. While harassed by 
the fear of detection on one side, and the mor- 
tification of being supplanted by some more 
fortunate rival, a most propitious and rather 
unlooked-for event suddenly drew him out of 


all liis perplexities. The death of his father at 
Moscow having rendered his presence necessary 
in that city, he applied for leave of absence, 
and obtained it — on condition, however, that 
he should resume his situation of chamberlain 
after paying the last sad offices to his deceased 
parent ; and made such other arrangements as 
were required by the recent melancholy event. 
Among the ceremonies usual on such occa- 
sions, were those of taking formal leave of the 
Empress and Grand-duchess, then in the me- 
tropolis. On appearing before the latter, to 
quit her for the first time, Saltikoff could not 
refrain from expressing his regret at being se- 
parated from her presence, and thus rendered 
incapable of fulfilling those duties of his of- 
fice which he flattered himself had not been 
disagreeable to her Imperial Highness. The 
Princess, on perceiving an emotion which 
spoke something more than the regret of a 
First Chamberlain, was scarcely less moved by 
the motive which, it was too plain, had given 
rise to it; and fixing her eyes on Saltikoff, in a 
manner that could not be mistaken, urged him 
to hasten his return to Saint Petersburgh, 
where he woidd, no doubt, soon forget the late 
domestic calamity amidst the varied pleasures 


and cheerful society of the capital.* Scarcely 
had SaltikofF time to express his gratitude for 
this unexpected demonstration of sympathy on 
the part of Catherine, when she added, with 
still more warmth and assurance, that " she did 
not anticipate any satisfaction from the amuse- 
ments of PeterhofF during his absence." The 
effect produced by these consoling words 
may be easily conceived, even in one of less 
vanity than Saltikoff was known to possess. 
Hastening to JMoscow, the advice of the 
Grand-duchess had made too deep an im- 
pression on the Chamberlain's mind, to ad- 
mit of his devoting much time to the object 
of his visit. So that he had no sooner depo- 
sited the remains of his parent in the family 
vault, and taken possession of the inheritance, 
than he bent his way back to Saint Peters- 
burgh. While on the road, and ruminating on 

* It has been reported by many of her confidential friends, 
that notwithstanding her seeming attachment to Saltikoff, 
Catherine had already possessed other lovers at Saint Peters- 
burgh, particularly a Neapolitan Marquess and a Piedmon- 
tese Count, who were both dismissed from the Russian terri- 
tory by order of the Empress Elizabeth, while the Grand- 
duchess herself was exiled to the palace of Peterhoff during 
pleasure. This circumstance is said to have taken place 
soon after the banishment of the Princess her mother. 


the happiness which awaited him at Peterhoff, 
a tliousaud contending cniotions disturbed the 
imagination of Saltikoff. • AVhile, however, his 
passion, and that ambition which spurred him 
on to achieve a conquest, commenced under 
such favourable auspices, afforded new sources 
of joyous anticipation ac every step, the fears 
of a discovery, and those consequences which 
would inevitably follow in its train, filled him 
witli the greatest alarm. He called to mind 
the frequent instances of exile, perpetual im- 
prisonment, and even death, which had attend- 
ed similar acts of temerity ; while, on the other 
hand, he dared not flatter himself that Cathe- 
rine could so far forget the dignity of her own 
rank, or the duty she owed her husband, as to 
receive in his stead the embraces of a simple 
chamberlain. Such were the reflections which, 
by tiu'ns, occupied his mind till he reached the 
capital. That they still continued to agitate 
the feelings of Saltikoff, may be inferred from 
a conversation held with his sister and only 
confidant, the Princess Narishkin, soon after 
his arrival. " If," said he, " I am ever happy 
enough to succeed, and she condescends to 
avow her affection, how will it be possible to 
elude, or deceive the penetrating eyes of the 
jealous courtiers who surround her, and watch 


all her movements? How can I any longer 
cherish, or encourage a guilty passion which 
threatens me with eternal dishonour, and to 
which my life itself may be sacrificed ? I am 
terrified and tremble at the thought of my pre- 
sumption : I will think no more of it, and am 
resolved to renounce every idea of so hazardous 
an intrigue." Such were the reflections and 
resolutions of SaltikofF, as they generally are of 
all those who struggle against a similar passion, 
when the object which inspired it is no longer 

It has been truly observed, that there is no 
better mode of overcoming scruples like these 
of SaltikofF, than consulting a female oracle. 
The reply of his sister operated as a talisman, 
and from that moment he only thought of ac- 
complishing the object of his wishes. While the 
Duke and Duchess were passing the summer 
months at Oranienbaum, the Empress usually 

* The above conversation was communicated to me by the 
Princess Narishkin herself. She was, at the time, the inti- 
mate friend, and afterwards secret confidant of all Catherine's 
amours. The reply she made to her brother proved that she 
was no novice in the art of love. " My dear brother," said 
the Princess, " these sorts of reflections from a man in love 
are like icicles before they feel the effect of the sun ; and 
like them, will evaporate the moment that luminary sheds its 

rays ! 

VOL. I. 


occupied the Palace of Peterhoff, which liad long 
been celebrated as the great focus of court in- 
trigue, whether it related to politics or gallantry. 

It was in one of these summer excursions 
that SaltikofF effected what he had so long 
sighed for, and became the happiest of mortals. 
The better to conceal that intercourse which 
he had now so successfully commenced, he 
feigned indisposition, in order that he might 
be exempted from attending the court cere- 
monies and amusements of the Empress. Ca- 
therine naturally caught the disease of her 
lover; and the better to avoid impertinent 
curiosity, she also contrived to keep her room 
until he was sufficiently convalescent to resume 
his duties. As to the Grand-duke, he was 
so blinded with regard to the real object of his 
cliamberlain's pursuits, that he was the first to 
encourage him in partaking the solitude of his 
wife's residence, and employing all the means in 
his power towards diverting her attention from 
those intense studies, which might be otherwise 
so prejudicial to her health. There is little 
doubt but Saltikoff joyfully obeyed the in- 
junctions of his master ; so that the lovers were 
thus left to the unrestrained enjoyment of all 
their wishes. 

But the horizon of their felicity was soon 


overcast. Scarcely had Catherine time to re- 
flect on the false step, before she became over- 
whelmed with the consequences of her weak- 
ness. As might well be expected, the situation 
in which she now found herself, threw the 
Grand-duchess into a state of the utmost 
agitation; she trembled at the thought of a 
discovery, which appeared inevitable, and lost 
no time in communicating the fatal truth to 
Saltikoff. Instead, however, of participating 
in her fears, the Chamberlain, as if suddenly 
animated by those stratagems which love alone 
can inspire, at once suggested an expedient, 
calculated, above all others, to calm the per- 
turbed feelings of Catherine. He promised to 
lose no time in obtaining for her some private 
nightly interviews with the Grand-duke ; and 
this being accomplished forthwith, what she 
had so greatly apprehended as the precursor of 
ruin, terminated to the entire satisfaction of all 

As already observed, the Grand-duke gave 
himself up to the excesses of the table to such 
a degree, that he seldom rose from dinner 
without feeling the effects of having indulged 
much too freely in wine. During these mo- 
ments of hilarity, he would frequently deplore 
the calamity which excluded him from the 

c 3 


bridal couch, and in a few instances even ex- 
])atiatcd on the cause. Saltikoff, having been 
one of liis most confidential friends, was fully 
aware of the obstacle, and no sooner ascertained 
the situation of Catherine than he determined to 
remove it. Previously, however, to carrying his 
scheme into effect, it was necessary to obtain the 
consent of the Empress. As this was a point 
of some delicacy, although of infinite import- 
ance at such a moment, it required consider- 
able tact to bring it about so as to avoid creat- 
ing suspicion as to the motive. Love, which is 
fertile in expedients, was not dormant on this 
occasion, and soon presented the Chamberlain 
with a most favourable opportunity for making 
the proposed communication. 

The Princess Narishk in, when far advanced 
in pregnancy, happening to be seated at one of 
the card-tables, in a court-party given by the 
Empress, her Majesty complimented her on 
the happiness she was about to enjoy in giving 
birth to an heir, and added, in the hearing of 
Saltikoff her brother, " I wish, my dear Narish- 
kin, you could communicate your felicity to 
the Grand-duchess." The Chamberlain, adroit- 
ly availing liimself of this incident, very plainly 
hinted at the cause whicli prevented the wishes 
of her Imperial Majesty from being realised, add- 


ing, that, with her approbation, he thought he 
had sufficient influence with the Grand-duke to 
induce him to consent to the removal of the ob- 
stacle in question, and which was not less pain- 
ful to the feelings of his Imperial Highness, than 
prejudicial to the interests of the state. No sooner 
had he concluded, than the Empress instantly 
consented with the greatest joy to approve of 
any step likely to accomplish the object she had 
so long wished for. Nothing could have been 
more propitious to the views of Saltikoff than 
this conversation, and he determined to lose no 
time in profiting by it. Accordingly, having 
made the necessary arrangements, and confided 
his project to those friends whose co-operation 
was necessary, the Chamberlain took care to 
have every thing in readiness on the following- 
night. Having, with his chosen friends, attend- 
ed at the supper of the Grand-duke, he wait- 
ed till his Highness had taken the usual quan- 
tity of wine, and then caused the conversation 
to turn upon connubial happiness : as he anti- 
cipated, the Grand-duke did not hesitate to ex- 
press his regret at the circumstance which de- 
prived him of the bliss to which all married 
men so naturally aspired ; whereupon Saltikoff 
and his friends immediately addressed the 
Prince in a body, and implored him at once to 


put an end to their anxiety, and crown the 
wishes of the whole nation, which looked for 
an heir to his vast domains with such earnest 
solicitude, by Consenting to the only means by 
which that desideratum could be obtained. 
These simultaneous entreaties produced the de- 
sired effect ; the Grand-duke seemed to feel the 
full force of the arguments now adduced, and, 
stammering something like an acquiescence, no- 
thing more was required on the part of Salti- 
koff, who instantly called in Boerhaave the 
court physician, already in attendance, with an 
able surgeon, for the purpose, when the Grand- 
duke, having been so closely pressed, and with- 
out any means of escape, quietly submitted to 
the proposed operation. The Empress was im- 
mediately apprised of the event, and, as a mark 
of her satisfaction, she presented the chamber- 
lain with a most valuable diamond ring, for his 
diligence and ingenuity on the occasion. 

Saltikoff had, however, too long enjoyed the 
triumph of his intrigue, not to meet with some 
reverses. Catherine had also been less cautious 
in her conduct towards the Chamberlain ; while 
the courtiers, ever prying and envious, began 
to betray their jealousy at the preference shown 
towards him by the Grand-duchess ; nor were 
they long in discovering the real cause of their 


malady and absence from court. The dangers 
of Saltikoff 's new position were greatly height- 
ened by the fact of his most intimate friends 
being those who appeared foremost in secretly 
denouncing him to the Empress, who, till then, 
never suspected the amours of the Grand- 
duchess and her paramour. 

Elizabeth, though one of the most depraved 
and libidinous women of her time, affected to 
be highly incensed at the discovery of her 
niece's conduct, and in the first impulse of her 
wrath, declared her determination to send the 
culprits to Siberia ; adding, that as the Grand- 
duke was now perfectly restored, he could ex- 
ercise the rights of a husband, and she therefore 
insisted that the Grand-duchess should submit 
to the ancient forms of the empire, by giving 
the usual proofs of having preserved her vir- 
ginity up to the approaching consummation of 
the marriage. 

Apprised of the fresh dangers with which 
Catherine and himself were now threatened, 
the Chamberlain contrived matters in such a 
way, as also to satisfy her Majesty on this 
point ; and there being no time to lose, it occur- 
red to him, that the best way of avoiding the 
coming storm, was boldly to face his accusers. 
Assuming, therefore, an air of confidence, 


wlilcli had all the appearance of outraged inno- 
cence, he flew to the Grand-duke to complain 
of the calumnies his enemies had dared to cir- 
culate against tlie fidelity and loyalty of his 
character ; artfully reminding his master, that 
he had never thought of visiting the Grand- 
duchess but by the special orders of his Impe- 
rial Highness himself; and protesting most 
solemnly, that he had ever treated the Princess 
with the utmost deference and respect. To 
the above plausible declaration, SaltikofF added, 
that those who thus sought to be revenged on 
him, through envy and hatred at the marks of 
favour with which he was honoured at court, 
were thereby slandering the irreproachable con- 
duct of the Grand-duchess, and even insidiously 
attacking the very heir of the Empire ! — " In 
order, however," said the much-injured Cham- 
berlain, " to avoid all farther suspicion, and 
remove every future pretext for calumny, I 
entreat that your Imperial Highness will grant 
me permission to withdraw entirely from court 
and retire to Moscow, where my time can be 
passed in tranquillity and repose." 

This address, and its ingenious climax, not 
only deceived the credulous Prince, but in- 
duced him to imagine that, so far from allow- 
ing the Chamberlain to depart, he ought to use 


his influence with the Empress for him to re- 
main near the person of the Grand-duchess. 
Having, therefore, expressed his displeasure and 
resentment against the calumniators of Saltikoff 
to Elizabeth, he assumed the defence of his 
Chamberlain with so much zeal, that her Im- 
perial Majesty became a convert to his opinion, 
and he easily obtained her entire sanction for 
the Chamberlain's continuing to perform the 
duties of his office. Thus the affair, from which 
Saltikoff anticipated total ruin, terminated in 
the Empress and Grand-duke being persuaded 
that the whole story was a mere invention on 
the part of the invidious courtiers. 

While these scenes were passing in the apart- 
ments of the Empress, the Grand-duchess was 
not idle. She was, indeed, more interested in 
checking the reports so industriously circulated 
than any of the other parties, since conviction 
would have been fatal to all her future plans, 
while the dexterity already shown by her lover, 
rendered his preservation near her person an 
object of the greatest solicitude. Being duly 
informed by the Princess Narishkin of the for- 
tunate issue of her brother's interview with the 
Grand-duke, it became high time for Catherine 
to commence her part in the drama. With this 
view, she presented herself before the Empress 


with the utmost confidence, and at once throwing 
off* the mask of mildness and reserve for which 
slie had liitherto been so remarkable, demanded 
in a firm and peremptory tone, what farther ex- 
planations her Imperial Majesty required for the 
vindication of her injured honour, besides having 
absented herself from the court, and leading a 
life of the closest seclusion ; adding, that it was 
difficult to say who deserved most blame on 
the present occasion; those who spread such 
scandalous reports, or others who listened to 
them with complacency ! Having thus ex- 
pressed herself, Catherine suddenly changed her 
tone to one of supplication and humility, en- 
treating, with tears in her eyes and frequent 
sobs, that the Empress would believe her in- 
capable of the conduct imputed to her. These 
protestations of innocence, supported as they 
were by the most persuasive language and a 
studied eloquence, seemed to penetrate all the 
hearers, and at length reaching the heart of 
Elizabeth, produced every effect that could be 
wished. Raising the Grand-duchess from the 
ground, where she had continued to kneel dur- 
ing the whole of her pathetic appeal, she com- 
manded her to forget all that had been said to 
her prejudice, and, as a farther proof of being 
perfectly satisfied with the explanation just 



given, the Empress insisted on Catherine's com- 
ing to court that very evening. This gracious 
summons was of course obeyed ; and from the 
flattering reception, as well as marked attention, 
shown to the Grand-duchess, it was evident 
that her triumph and that of SaltikoiF was 
complete. With respect to the favourite Cham- 
berlain, if any thing more was required to 
achieve his victory, it must have been found in 
an act of the most gracious condescension on 
the part of the Empress. Her Majesty ap- 
proaching the card-table at which he was seated, 
asked, loud enough to be heard by those around, 
" Well, SaltikofF, I hope you are happy ?" '' I 
can never be so, Madam !" replied the Chamber- 
lain ; upon which her Majesty rejoined, " I am 
sorry for it. I am told you wish to abandon 
the court, and quit the service of the Grand- 
duke. I can scarcely believe this, and I re- 
quest you will remain at your post ; as, be as- 
sured, if your enemies are induced to attack 
your character a second time, I shall know how 
to defend it." 



Rivalry between the Empress and Catherine. — Dissolute 
character of the former, — Her accession to power through 
crime. — Abolition of capital punishment. — Caprice and 
extravagance of Elizabeth on the subject of dress. — Cha- 
racter of Catherine. — Reply of Princess DaschkofF to the 
Empress — Birth of Paul^ and hatred of Catherine towards 
the infant. — Humane conduct of the Princess Daschkoff. — 
IMilitary innovations of Peter IH. — They furnish the party 
of Catherine with a pretext for dethroning him. — The plan 
adopted for this purpose. — Project formed by the Emperor. 
—His visit to Prince Ivan. — The conspirators, headed by 
the Princess DaschkofF, gain over the troops at Saint Pe- 
tersburgh, and proclaim Catherine. — Degradation and suf- 
ferings of the dethroned Emperor. — His assassination. — 
Hypocrisy of Catherine on that occasion. — Reflections on 
the conduct of the Emi)ress. — The Princess Daschkoff ex- 
onerated from any share in the murder of Peter IH. 

Notwithstanding the forbearance and ap- 
parent generosity of Elizabeth's conduct on 
til is occasion, it was scarcely possible for a 
woman of her habits and ambition not to feel 
occasional jealousy at the growing ascendency 


of the Grand-duchess ; indeed, their attendants 
and contemporaries, to some of whom I am 
indebted for these details, assured me that it 
was by no means uncommon to see the favours 
of the old Empress and her youthful rival con- 
ferred on the same object. As might well be 
expected, this species of emulation was not a 
little calculated to excite those bickerings, and 
even violent quarrels, which increased with the 
age of her Imperial Majesty. 

As I have already observed, Elizabeth was, 
perhaps, one of the most dissolute women of 
her time ; and when it is farther added, that 
her court and government presented a scene of 
corruption, avarice, disorder, and misrule, un- 
equalled in any other part of Europe, it be- 
comes a just subject of astonishment, how 
Russia could have made any advance in civi- 
lization and power under such a system. Like 
too many of her predecessors, Elizabeth could 
only ascend the throne through a series of 
crimes, of which the dethronement of the 
Regent Anne, and perpetual imprisonment of 
her son. Prince Ivan, (afterwards cruelly mur- 
dered in the dungeons of Schlusselburg,) form, 
it is to be feared, but a very small portion. 
The famous law, by which capital punishment 
was abolished throughout the Russian states. 


and which exhibits sucli an extraordinary ano- 
maly in tlie legislation of a barbarous people, 
while it continued among all the other nations 
of Europe, is supposed to have originated in 
a desire to palliate her usurpation of the Im- 
perial crown. In other hands, this admirable 
law might have been a source of incalculable 
benefit to mankind ; but, as history has but too 
truly proved, the crimes, without which usur- 
pers have scarcely ever been enabled to attain 
power, are almost invariably followed up by 
violence and excesses, such as were presented 
during the whole reign of Elizabeth. Thus 
it was, that while a law, for the general esta- 
blishment of which the greatest philosophers 
and legislators of ancient and modern times 
have sighed, was suddenly promulgated in 
Russia, a system of secret murder, mutilation, 
imprisonment, and exile, was adopted to an 
extent never before known in that vast empire. 
The system of exiling malefactors and state 
prisoners to Siberia, which became so prevalent 
after the abolition of capital punishment, was 
really mild when compared with the tortures 
and mutilations which were still tolerated, and 
increased to such a degree, as to make it 
doubtful whether any real advantage was de- 
rived from that celebrated edict. Some idea 


may be formed of the other parts of the Rus- 
sian code, when it is stated, that among the 
victims of Elizabeth's vengeance, a beautiful 
young female of noble family, previous to her 
exile, underwent the torture of the knout, and 
had her tongue cut out in the public market- 
place of Saint Petersburgh ! 

To the infliction of the knout, by which im- 
mense numbers have perished, was frequently 
added the loss of the ears and part of the nose : 
that of the tongue was only incurred in cases of 
treason. Such was the criminal code of Russia 
in the reign of Elizabeth ; and though reformed 
during the reign of Catherine, it is still one of 
the most barbarous and imperfect in Europe. 

While at the waters of Carlsbad, I met the 
late Duke of Courland,* who had himself passed 

* This Prince, whom Catherine had deprived of his sove- 
reignty, was father to the present Duchess of Sagan, so cele- 
brated throughout Europe for her gallantry, and liberal en- 
couragement of the fine arts. Unlike many of her contem- 
poraries, the Duchess has sustained her character by marry- 
ing the objects of her affection, and, like the late Czarine, 
discards them when the charm of domestic felicity is dis- 
solved. The intimacy of the Duchess with an English No- 
bleman, who lately held a high diplomatic situation at the 
Court of Vienna, and her abandonment of his Lordship for 
the arms of a German Prince, now in the confidence of the 
Emperor Francis, is probably not unknown to many of my 

32 ane<;:dotes of foreign courts. 

many years as an exile in Siberia. Amono- the 
curious facts which I heard tlie Duke relate, 
he said, that it was formerly customary for 
those who were sent there as exiles, to be 
chained on sledges drawn by large mastiffs, 
and thus conducted to the scene of exile, with- 
out permission to communicate with any hu- 
man creature on the road, or being suffered to 
quit the vehicle for a single instant, until they 
reached their destination. 

While this singular Princess paid the most 
minute attention to all that was passing in her 
extensive govermnent, and examined every act 
of her ministers with scrupulous exactness, her 
domineering spirit and caprice on the subject 
of dress were objects of equal dread and ridi- 
cule among the courtiers. It is a well-known 
fact, that, though moving in the midst of all 
the affected luxury of the East, she interdicted 
her female attendants, and those ladies who fre- 
quented the court, from appearing in a dress of 
the same form or stuff worn by herself, until 
her's had been thrown aside ; and in this her 
Majesty's caprice was carried to such an extra- 
vajrant excess, that several new robes would 
oftentimes be changed in the same day. Con- 
trary to the usual custom at other courts, Eliza- 
beth was never known to give any of her wear- 


ing apparel to the attendants ; and such was 
the accumulation occasioned by this circum- 
stance, that innumerable robes of various de- 
scriptions are said to have been found in the 
Imperial wardrobe after her death. 

Such was the predecessor of Catherine, to 
whose history I hasten to return, as being more 
immediately connected with the object of these 
memoirs. It has often been observed, that if 
Catherine the Second had been destined for the 
stage, no woman on earth would have sur- 
passed her : for there was no part of the po- 
litical drama, whether tragedy or comedy, in 
which she did not excite equal astonishment, 
by the ease and dexterity with which she ful- 
filled whatever part she thought proper to as- 
sume. This was doubtless derived from that 
rare flexibility of temperament, and profound 
hypocrisy, without which it would have been 
preposterous to think of one of the poorest 
petty Princesses of Germany ascending the 
Imperial throne, or acquiring the celebrity 
which fell to the lot of this extraordinary 
woman. How far the character thus generally 
ascribed to Catherine is justified b}'^ her public 
and private conduct, will be seen from the fol- 
lowing facts, communicated to me by indi- 
viduals who had either filled confidential situa- 

VOL. I. D 


tions round the person of the Empress, or been 
attentive observers of passing events during 
her long reign. 

Allusion has been already made to the disso- 
lute conduct and repvilsive personal appearance 
of the Grand-duke, heightened as his natural 
imperfections were by the ravages of the small- 
pox. The contrast thus formed between him- 
self and the two individuals who were regard- 
ed as the most polished and attractive men in 
the Russian Court, SaltikofF and Poniatowsky, 
was too striking not to be observed by the 
young and sprightly Catherine ; nor did much 
time elapse after the marriage before Elizabeth 
perceived the aversion she had imbibed for her 
nephew. Having one day addressed the Prin- 
cess Daschkoff, her principal lady of honour, on 
the subject, and intimated that a continuance 
of tlie partiality shown towards the above- 
named noblemen would lead to the worst con- 
sequences, the Princess, who had become ex- 
tremely intimate with Catherine, very ingenu- 
ously replied, by observing, that " she had 
taken her Imperial Majesty as a model." — 
" How can that be ?" replied the Empress. — 
" Why," said tlie Princess, " all the world 
knows, that notwithstanding your Majesty's 
predilection for Kazoumoffsky, the private 


staircase has not been always barred to others." 
— " But he was not publicly declared my hus- 
band," answered Elizabeth. — " So much the 
worse," said Princess DaschkofF; " a woman 
may be pardoned at our court for a faux pas 
towards her husband, but never to her lover." 

The freedom with which this Princess was 
in the habit of addressing her Imperial mis- 
tress greatly contributed to the silence which 
she afterwards maintained with regard to the 
conduct of the Grand- duchess. As to the latter, 
having once surmounted the perils with which 
she was threatened on the discovery of her in- 
trigue with SaltikofF, and, more especially, re- 
conciled all parties to her pregnancy, (the great 
object of her marriage,) she seemed to give an 
unrestrained loose to her passions, which con- 
tinued to be freely indulged during the rest of 
her life. 

Notwithstanding the notoriety of Catherine's 
partiality for SaltikofF, and her reported predi- 
lection for Poniatowsky, it excited the greatest 
astonishment at court, that the fruit of her first 
pregnancy should have been so unlike either. 
Catherine herself was so mortified and disap- 
pointed at having given birth to a " Calmuc 
monkey," as she apostrophised the infant Paul, 
that she was for several days quite undecided 

D 2 


whether she would see him a second time. In- 
deed it required all the eloquence of the Prin- 
cess Narishkin, the mother of a numerous fa- 
mily, to overcome the scruples of the Grand- 
duchess on this subject. Having pointed out 
the impolitic and unnatural tendency of not 
cherishinix a child destined to become the inhe- 
ritor of a vast empire, with various other argu- 
ments of a similar tendency, they at length 
prevailed. I was confidently informed by an 
eye-witness, that Catherine fainted on seeing 
the baby brought in. My informant added, 
that, had it not been for the firmness of the 
Princess Daschkoff, Paul would never have 
worn the Imperial crown, nor Russia been go- 
verned by one of her most capricious despots. 

Whether the Princess foresaw that the pre- 
servation of the infant was necessary to the 
future designs of Catherine, with which she 
had by this time become very well acquainted, 
or that she was influenced by a sentiment of 
humanity, it is well known that she watched 
over its earlier moments with the most assi- 
duous care; and by having it frequently 
brought into the presence of Catherine, accus- 
tomed her to look on tlie child with somewhat 
less disgust. She would even console the 
Grand-ducliess witli tlic liope of a second child, 


who might efface the painful recollection of 
the first. It was most probably in the course 
of their conversation on this subject, that the 
idea of giving up her own lover to the em- 
braces of Catherine, was first conceived. 

" The Princess Daschkoff," said Madame Na- 
rishkin, " in renouncing her favourite Orloff, 
had two great objects in view, particularly 
after she discovered that an intrigue had ac- 
tually commenced between him and the Grand- 
duchess. The first was, that of ingratiating 
herself still more into the good graces of a 
woman whose future power she already pre- 
dicted ; and the second, that of retaining him 
as a friend at court, ready to support the in- 
fluence she had acquired over the mind of Ca- 
therine." As but too frequently happens, she 
was cruelly deceived in both these objects ; 
Orloff soon forgot the debt of gratitude, and 
Catherine, though she profited by the treason, 
despised the traitor. Her abhorrence was not, 
however, openly manifested, until the Princess 
had been made subservient to her ambitious 
design of usurping the throne, in which memo- 
rable transaction she was destined to play a 
most conspicuous and important part. 

It is well known that Peter III. previous to 
his accession, was an enthusiastic admirer of 

/ . 


the great Frederick of Prussia. When he be- 
came Em])eror, his passion for imitating the 
Prussian king was immediately evinced in a 
determination to introduce the system of dis- 
cipHne which had enabled that extraordinary 
monarch to achieve such wonders. Peter was 
so intent in pursuing this object, that he 
neglected every other, save his favourite pas- 
times of smoking, drinking, and visiting the 
Countess WoronzofF, who had long been his 
reputed and favourite mistress ; never dream- 
ing of the storm which was gathering round 
him, in consequence of thus shocking the pre- 
judices of a people, not less attached to their 
ancient habits than to their religious dogmas. 

Catherine, who had already begun to exercise 
considerable influence, and felt the superiority 
of her intellect over that of her husband, was 
naturally mortified at not being consulted on 
state affairs, and soon formed the design of un- 
dermining all his measures. The first expe- 
dient to which she resorted, was that of form- 
ing a party to oppose and render the military 
innovations unpopular. For this purpose, the 
Princess DaschkofF was required to dress her- 
self in the old national costume as worn at Mos- 
cow ; this was the signal for others, who were 
in the secret, to follow her example ; and in a 


short time nearly all the courtiers of both sexes, 
together with many of the leading nobility, ap- 
peared clad in the same way. This demonstra- 
tion of public feeling was followed by a general 
outcry against Prussia, and Prussian discipline, 
which was described as being derogatory to the 
national character of Russia, and therefore an 
object of hatred rather than imitation. 

Such were the insinuations spread by the 
emissaries of Catherine ; and, as she anticipated, 
they produced all the effect that covdd be wish- 
ed ; so that an immense party was soon found 
in her favour, both at St. Petersburgh and 
Moscow, before the Emperor was awakened to 
a sense of his danger, or took any steps to 
check the threatened storm. Convinced, at 
length, of the necessity of adopting measures of 
precaution, he probably for the first time re- 
curred to the infidelities of Catherine, and se- 
riously thought of changing the succession in 
favour of Prince Ivan, whom Elizabeth had 
excluded from the throne, and shut up in the 
castle of Schlusselburg. Peter had previously 
seen this vmfortunate Prince in his prison, where 
he found him totally deprived of every com- 
fort, almost in a state of nudity, with scarcely 
the appearance of a human being, and exposed 
to the most cruel treatment. After conversing 


with the captive Prince for some time, and en- 
couraging him to hope for better fortime, direc- 
tions were given to his keepers to treat him 
with all the attention due to a state prisoner of 
the highest rank, preparatory to his being re- 
moved to another situation ; " perhaps," added 
the Emperor, " to the palace of his ancestors." 

Having imprudently avowed his intentions 
•with regard to Ivan, and even confided his 
doubts as to the legitimacy of Paul, as well as 
hinted at a divorce, (to be followed by Cathe- 
rine's imprisoiUTient,) to some of the courtiers 
who were secretly in the interest of the Em- 
press, the effect produced in her own mind and 
tlic minds of her friends by this information, 
may be readily imagined.* 

* It was also reported by the promoters of the revolution, 
that Peter intended to get rid of Catherine, in order to marry 
his mistress, the Countess WoronzofF. With respect to his at- 
tempt at new inodolling the army on the Prussian system, 
Frederick II. in one of his private letters, enjoined him to 
act with great caution before he adopted the proposed plan, 
or that of divorcing Catherine, which he considered to be 
fraught with great danger. In writing subsequently to Vol- 
taire, and lamenting the fate of Queen Matilda, Frederick 
says, " Ah ! Catherine knew how to manage these matters 
better ; before she ventured to put the crown on her own 
head, she took away the life of him who wore it. Half mea- 
sures never succeed ; and those who have not nerve enough 
to proceed to the end of their work, must cv^er expect the 
consequences of their irresolution and folly." 


No sooner, therefore, had the above report, 
whether true or false, reached the ears of the 
Princess Daschkoff and of Orloff, than these 
faithful agents of Catherine met for the pur- 
pose of consulting on the best mode of antici- 
pating the intentions of the Emperor, by put- 
ting the influence of their party to the test. 
A plan of operations was therefore decided on, 
to be carried into immediate execution. Hav- 
ing apprised their emissaries and friends of 
what was about to take place, the Princess 
dressed herself in the uniform of the old Im- 
perial Guard, and accompanied by OrlofF, vi- 
sited all the military quarters, where she ha- 
rangued the soldiery on the degraded condition 
to which they were reduced by the late inno- 
vations ; and by the aid of a plentiful supply 
of tvoodka* great numbers threw their caps 
into tlie air, and said they were ready to exe- 
cute her orders. Thus attended, she next pro- 
ceeded to the house of the principal civil au- 
thorities, and invited them to join the soldiery ; 
and with this accession of strength, she re- 
paired to the Palace, whereto Catherine had 
been brought in the greatest haste from |Peter- 

* A strong spirit resembling gin, and of which great 
quantities are consumed by the Russians of all classes. 

t One of Catherine's contidential attendants assured me, 
while I was at Moscow, that the Princess Daschkoff and her 


hoff. Tlie first step now adopted, was to 
dress tlic Empress in a suit similar to that 
assumed by the Princess DaschkofF; after 
wliicli, both were placed on superb chargers, 
wliilc all the Prussian uniforms that could be 
found, were tied to the tails of other horses, 
and followed the two modern amazons, who 
rode through the city amidst loud cries of 
" Long live Catherine the Second !" The ])o- 
])idation of the capital was, by this time, ap- 
prised of the revolution, and heartily joined in 
the shouts of exultation it produced. It only 
remained to bring over the Imperial Guard. 
This was effected much more easily than the 
conspirators anticipated. OrlofF, seizing the 
reins of the two chargers on which Catherine 
and her confidant were mounted, led them into 
the barrack-yard, followed by the troops and 
an immense concourse of people : but scarcely 
had he time to utter a word, when the officers 
and men, falling on their knees, unanimously 
coincided in proclaiming Catherine. Nothing 

friends had proceeded thus far in their operations, without 
there being time to consult the Empress, who Avas not even 
aware of the extent to whicli the conspiracy had been carried 
until a few days before, when the mother of OrlofF was sent 
to bring lier from Peterhoff, where she had been kept al- 
most as a prisoner by order of the Emperor. 


more was required to complete the revolution, 
in the progress whereof not a single life had 
been sacrificed ; and such was the popularity 
of the change, that the guards had no sooner 
declared themselves, than the whole city and 
suburbs were apprised of the event, before the 
Emperor, who had left his retreat at Oranien- 
baum to proceed to Peterhoff, knew any thing 
of what had taken place. 

None of the conspirators thought of repose 
either on this or the following night: their 
whole time being occupied in sending off cou- 
riers and concerting measures for the security 
of the new sovereign. Among these, it was 
determined that her husband should be arrested 
and closely confined. In pursuance of this de- 
cision, the Emperor was taken from his bed, 
and, without being allov/ed even time to dress 
himself, conducted to a dungeon. The Coun- 
tess Woronzoff, who happened to be with 
Peter at the time of his arrest, was treated 
much in the same way, though soon after libe- 
rated from the prison of Peterhoff, and merely 
exiled to her country seat. 

There are very few examples of so great a 
change as the one effected on this occasion, 
without those excesses generally resulting from 
similar events, even in the most civilized coun- 


tries : nor is it supposed that the murder of 
Peter, which was not considered necessary by 
the best pohticians in Russia, would have been 
perpetrated, but to allay the fears of the con- 
spirators, who thought his death requisite for 
their own safety. 

Of all the trials to which human nature is 
exposed, there is perhaps no spectacle so painful 
or humiliating as tliat of a monarch who falls 
from the height of power into the opposite ex- 
treme of degradation and suffering. When the 
Emperor Peter recovered from the first effects 
of the revolution, and his grief had subsided in 
some deo-ree, he wrote a letter to Catherine in 
a tone of the greatest submission, entreating 
her mercy in favour of the Countess WoronzofF, 
and informing her of the cruel treatment to 
which he had been subjected. He begged par- 
don if he had involuntarily offended her ; and 
concluded witli a promise, that if she spared his 
life, he would make every reparation she re- 
quired for past errors by his future conduct. 
As these concessions and supplications were of 
course connnunicated to the friends of Cathe- 
rine, they only tended to aggravate the evils of 
liis situation, so that Peter continued a close pri- 
soner till within a few days of his murder, when, 
in order to render the deed more easy of execu- 


tion, and blind those who might have still re- 
tained any sympathy for the dethroned Empe- 
ror, he was removed to better apartments, and 
treated with greater mildness. This change 
was also intended to deceive the monarch him- 
self, and threw him off his guard ; it was even 
intimated to Peter, that he might consider these 
new arrangements as the preludes of a still bet- 
ter fate. 

The Imperial prisoner, therefore, began cre- 
dulously to flatter himself that his letters had 
produced the desired effect ; this consolatory 
feeling was strengthened in a few days after, 
when he heard that a sumptuous dinner had 
been ordered, though, as it soon proved, this 
was the last of which his enemies intended he 
should partake. In order to cover their design 
still more plausibly, the assassins, TeplofF, Bara- 
tinski, and OrlofF, sent an emissary to inform 
Peter that they were coming to dine with his 
Majesty, and concert a plan not only for his 
escape, but for his restoration to power ; alleg- 
ing that, Catherine having disgusted the great 
body of the people, deputies were continually 
arriving at court to remonstrate against her 
having so unlawfully usurped the rights of her 

Having presented themselves on the appoint- 


ed day, tlie whole party were assembled in a 
closet adjoining the dining-room, and preparing, 
according to the custom in Russia, to take a 
glass of woodka before dinner ; and while the 
unsuspecting monarch was engaged in talking 
of their mission, which they stated to have re- 
ceived from the leading inhabitants of the capi- 
tal, one of them changed the bottle that lay 
on the table for one in which a strong dose of 
poison had been infused. From this, Teploff 
poured out a glass, which he presented to the 
ICmperor, and on seeing it drunk, was about to 
offer another, had not Peter, who instantly per- 
ceived the potent nature of the liquor, refused 
to take any more. Thus roused from the fatal 
confidence into which the assassins had lulled 
him, the unfortunate Prince at once accused 
them of their intentions ; on which a violent 
scuffle ensued between Orloff and himself. In 
the course of this, the former had his cheek-bone 
completely fractured from a blow levelled at 
him by the Emperor. The murderers, finding 
themselves discovered, had no alternative but 
in a recourse to physical strength, and therefore 
instantly proceeded to carry their final design 
into execution. TeplofF was the next to seize 
hold of l*eter, and, like his predecessor, was 
soon felled to the ground. Seeing the critical 


situation of his accomplices, Baratinski, who 
stood hehind the monarch, threw a napkin over 
his head, while Orloff, already on the floor, 
pulled the Emperor down, and getting the 
upper hand, knelt on his breast till the purpose 
was efl*ected by strangulation. 

When assured of the Emperor's death, and 
that they hnd nothing more to fear, the body was 
stretched iix the same room, and having covered 
it with a cloth, they sat down to dinner, which 
was concluded amidst frequent libations to the 
triumph and glory of the new Empress, just 
as if they were commemorating some act of 
heroism and virtue. 

Every obstacle to Catherine's ambition being- 
no w removed, the next grand object was how 
to announce the death of Peter, so as to re- 
move the suspicions that would naturally fall 
on the conspirators. The mode in which this 
was brought about was communicated to me at 
Moscow, in the presence of an Englishman 
named Maddox, resident there, by a Catholic 
priest, who collected all the particulars from the 
dying confession of a servant who attended the 
assassins, without, however, taking an active 
part in the murder. After relating the facts 
already detailed, the penitent proceeded to state, 
that the corpse of the Emperor was carefully 


concealed till farther orders should be given as 
to its future disposal, while the murderers re- 
paired to St. Petersburg!! to report what they 
had done. Tliere it was decided, in a council 
of ministers, that the body should be concealed, 
and the death of Peter kept a secret till the 
first levee day, when it might be publicly an- 
nounced, with the solemnity called for by such 
an event. 

The day being fixed, and matters fully pre- 
pared by the actors who were to conclude this 
atrocious drama, Catherine appeared on a mag- 
nificent throne, surrounded by the whole court, 
a large concourse of the nobility, and all the fo- 
reign ambassadors, when Orloff suddenly entered 
in a travelling dress, and, falling on his knees be- 
fore her Imperial Majesty, with a countenance 
full of grief, announced that the Emperor had 
been suddenly attacked by a violent cholic, 
which carried off his Majesty, after an illness 
of only a few liours, on the preceding night ! 

This was the signal for a display of that hy- 
pocrisy and duplicity, for which Catherine 
was so pre-eminently distinguished. No sooner 
were the sad tidings communicated, than Ca- 
therine, as if seized by convulsion, fell back 
senseless on the throne. The confusion attend- 


ant on this circumstance was greatly augment- 
ed by the spectators perceiving that the efforts 
made to restore Catherine were ineffectual, 
until at last it became necessary to remove her 
to a private apartment, where she was borne 
on the arms of several pages, care having been 
previously taken to throw a white handker- 
chief over the face, in order that the ingenious 
delusion might not be discovered. 

Nothing could have been better managed 
than this piece of acting ; but in order to com- 
plete what had been so well commenced, it be- 
came necessary for the Empress to remain shut 
up for some days. This seclusion was, how- 
ever, attributed as much to her anxiety to as- 
certain the state of public opinion on the mys- 
terious death of her husband, as to motives of 
assumed delicacy. 

As, happily for mankind, crime does not 
always silence conscience, there might have 
been some degree of remorse mixed up with 
this affectation of grief; and, with all his fail- 
ings, Catherine knew that Peter's close affinity 
of blood to his namesake and ancestor, the 
great benefactor of Russia, could not fail to 
excite a considerable share of sympathy in his 
favour. But a well-chosen distribution of re- 

VOL. I. E 


wards soon consigned the memory of her mur- 
dered husband to oblivion ; and the next time 
she appeared on the throne, was to receive ad- 
dresses of condolence, and to be finally pro- 
claimed as Empress of all the Russias ! 

The exact degree of Catherine's participation 
in the murder of her husband is still involved 
in that secrecy which usually attends such acts. 
Like Elizabeth, in the case of the ill-fated 
^lary, she is said by her partisans to have been 
forced to yield to the spirit of party ; and, 
altliough she must have given her sanction to 
the crime, they pretend that she wished the 
execution of the sentence, resolved on by her 
ministers, to be suspended for an indefinite 
period. With respect to the Princess Dasch- 
kofF, it is due to her memory to declare, that 
she was exonerated by her contemporaries and 
accomplices in the revolution from any share 
in the murder, and that her remonstrances on 
its impolicy and injustice, formed the first 
cause of the irreconcilable quarrel which after- 
wards took place between herself and the Em- 
press. From the subsequent treatment expe- 
rienced by the Princess, as well as her frequent 
avowals, there is no doubt of her having deeply 
repented the conspicuous part she had taken 


in bringing about the elevation of Catherine. 
But she adds another instance to the many 
already on record, of what jealousy and am- 
bition will effect in female minds. The grow- 
ing ascendancy of her sister, the Countess 
Woronzoff, over Peter, and consequent fear of 
being supplanted in power, induced her not 
only to sacrifice her lover, Alexis Orloff, to 
the wishes of the Empress, but to become the 
most active agent and strenuous promoter of 
the conspiracy. 

E 2 



The licentious gallantries of Catherine II. — Her mode of 
selecting new lovers. — Etiquette observed on these occa- 
sions. — Obligations imposed on the favourites of the Em- 
press. — Abruptness of their dismissal. — Catherine's libe- 
rality. — Anecdote of MomonofF and his wife. — Power and 
influence of Prince Potemkin. — Anecdote of Marchesi, the 
opera singer. — Conduct of the Empress on the occasion. — 
Violent conduct of Potemkin towards Catherine. — They 
live on terms of harmony after their separation. — Anomaly 
in the character of the Empress. — Her attention to public 
affairs. — The famous domestic edict. — Its salutary eflfect. 
— Brutal conduct of the Duke of Wurtemburg to his wife. 
— Encouragement given to foreigners by Catherine. 

I HAVE already alluded to the licentious gal- 
lantries of the Empress Elizabeth, and which 
continued without intermission till her death. 
Those of her successor were carried to a still 
greater excess, and have been the theme of all 
her biographers, though 1 believe the etiquette 
observed in the selection of her numerous 
favourites has not been hitherto detailed. As 


the following data are derived from a former 
attendant of Catherine, they may not be unac- 
ceptable to my readers. 

Whenever the Empress, who was constantly 
on the look out for some new object, saw any 
man at Court whose appearance pleased her, 
she lost no time in ascertaining every circum- 
stance calculated to throw a light on his situa- 
tion and character. The next step was to have 
him invited by the Princess Narishkin, or some 
other confidant, when her Imperial Majesty 
would take care to be present. When the 
stranger was announced, and ushered into the 
Imperial presence, etiquette required that the 
rest of the company should withdraw, thus giv- 
ing the Empress an opportunity of freely con- 
versing with the neAv candidate. The first in- 
terview was usually devoted to a conversation 
upon general subjects, by which she was enabled 
to judge of the capacity and intellect of her 
man : if these answered the wishes of Catherine, 
he was commanded to present himself the fol- 
lowing day at a private door of the palace, and 
which led to a suite of apartments especially ap- 
propriated to the favourites for the time being. 
When once admitted, his probation was often 
continued for several days, during which, though 
not permitted to commvmicate with any person 


except the attendants appointed by the Etyi- 
press, he was pampered with all the delicacies 
of the Imperial kitchen, as well as the clioicest 
wines the palace could afford. The preparatory 
and precautionary measures resorted to on such 
occasions being ended, he was ushered into the 
Imperial presence, and soon after experienced 
still more substantial proofs of confidence and 

No sooner had the new minion been initiated, 
than he assumed the minor duties of his office ; 
these consisted principally in standing behind 
the chair of the Empress at court, or while at 
the opera, which at once gave him the rank of 
an officer of the Imperial presence, and private 
amanuensis to the Empress. This was quite 
sufficient to mark the distinguished place he 
occupied within the precincts of the palace, as 
well as to make him be looked up to as the great 
dispenser of court patronage and favour. 

Among the precepts to be observed by her 
favourites, as the price of Catherine's protec- 
tion, they were most strictly enjoined never to 
be familiar with, or adch'ess, any female who 
was present, without her special orders ; never 
to dine or sup where tliere were any women, 
and generally to abstain from every act that 
was in the least likely to derogate from the 


exalted station to which they had been raised. 
By way of compensation for these trifling sa- 
crifices, it is but too well known, that honovu's 
and emoluments of every kind were lavished 
on the minion and his family with an unsparing 
hand. This state of things lasted in proportion 
to the good fortune or fascination of the favou- 
rite, and when it was decided that a new can- 
didate should take his place, the door which 
communicated with the Imperial apartments 
was locked, care having been previously taken 
to place a passport and a considerable sum for 
travelling expenses on his table, with an in- 
junction to quit the capital forthwith, and pro- 
ceed in any direction that might be most agree- 
able to his wishes. It is needless to add, that 
no other explanations were given on these 
occasions, while remonstrance would have been 
attended with very disagreeable consequences. 

The number of Catherine's favourites after 
her accession, beginning with the Orloffs, of 
whom there were five brothers, and ending with 
Platon and Valerian ZoubofF, amounted to se- 
venteen. Some idea may be formed of her pro- 
digality in rewarding these men, none of whom, 
with the exception of Potemkin, had much more 
than the capricious partiality of this singular 
woman to recommend them, when I add that 


the amount of property, whether in estates, 
jewels, or money received from her, exceeded 
ninety millions of roubles. 

MomonofF, notwithstanding the immense 
treasures he amassed, and the authority he ex- 
ercised over Catherine, had formed an intimacy 
with one of her ladies of honour, the Countess 
Sherbatoff. The intrigue being reported to the 
Empress, she determined to be convinced of the 
fact by putting her faithless favourite to the 
test ; for which purpose, she caused one of her 
richest subjects, the Countess of Bruce, to be 
presented at court, in order to marry her to 
Momonoff. When pressed to accede to the 
proposal, he fell on his knees, and avowing his 
previous attachment, implored the forgiveness 
of Catherine. Upon this, very contrary to his 
expectation, he was ordered to marry her and 
instantly to depart for Moscow. 

They had not been long married before 
MomonofF was so indiscreet as to disclose a 
number of curious anecdotes relative to his 
former intercourse with Catherine, to his bride, 
which she had the imprudence to repeat to 
others, until they at last reached the ears of 
the P^mprcss. Determined to avenge this 
breach of confidence, the following was the 
mode adopted by the wily Czarina to effect her 


object. Soon after the new couple were snug- 
ly established in their sumptuous palace at 
Moscow, the head of the police, accompanied 
by six of his myrmidons, attired in women's 
clothes, entered their bed-room in the dead of 
night, and producing a written authority, or- 
dered the Countess to get up; on her obey- 
ing, with fear and trembling, she was seized 
and severely scourged, while the terrified hus- 
band, who had been ordered to fall on his 
knees during the castigation, was not only con- 
demned to witness the cruel operation, but 
even forced to sign a certificate of its havmg 
been duly executed, pursuant to the instruc- 
tions of his Imperial mistress ! Having thus 
fulfilled his singular mission, the agent of po- 
lice told MomonofF that it was merely on con- 
sideration of the manner in which he had been 
formerly distinguished by the Empress, that 
himself and his wife were thus mildly treated ; 
adding, that the next offence would be punished 
with perpetual exile to Siberia. He then took 
his leave.* 

* Instances not very dissimilar to the above mode of 
chastising the nobility have frequently occurred in Russia. 
During the reign of the Empress Anne, when Prince Gallit- 
zin became a convert to the Catholic faith, she caused him 
to be paraded about the streets of Saint Petersburgh in a 


But of all the favourites of Catherine, Po- 
temkin was the most powerful, while the selec- 
tion of such an extraordinary character did in- 
finite credit to her penetration ; for, although 
exhibiting a more striking contrast of virtues 
and vices than any other statesman of modern 
times, it would be difficult, perhaps impossible, 
to have found his parallel, either in Russia or 
any other part of Europe. 

This individual was so despotic and over- 
bearing during his long career of favour, that 
he inspired more terror, and was treated with 
much greater respect, than the Empress herself. 
His influence over Catherine was of the most 
unbounded description ; and though some- 
times baffled in his projects of petty ven- 
geance against those individuals who happened 
to excite his anger, or wourj^ his self-love, 
there were moments in which he is said to have 

wooden cage, placed on the back of an elephant, and fol- 
lowed by a large concourse of the populace, of whom num- 
bers were seated in sledges drawn by pigs, dogs, and goats. 
But this was not all ; having determined that the apostate 
should marry, she selected a wife for him from the lowest 
dregs of the people, and placing her by his side in the cage, 
the procession terminated at the celebrated Ice palace, near 
the Neva, where the bride and bridegroom were absolutely 
<)bliged to pass the first night of wedlock in a bed formed by 
that chilly substance ! 


treated Catherine with the greatest brutality — 
not unfrequently resorting to acts of personal 
violence. The following anecdote will serve 
to show how the Empress was sometimes ena- 
bled to moderate the rage of her " favourite 
Cossack," as he was usually styled by the 

Marchesi, the celebrated soprano singer, had 
been engaged by Catherine to perform at the 
Italian Opera House of Saint Petersburgh ; 
and it being customary for first-rate singers to 
make their dehut at the private concerts of the 
Empress, Marchesi, when commanded to at- 
tend with the other performers, thought proper 
to have himself drawn to the Palace in a coach- 
and-six, a privilege which in Russia is only en- 
joyed by ambassadors and foreigners of distinc- 
tion. This proceeding gave great offence to 
Potemkin, who did not fail to communicate his 
anger to Catherine, who was so delighted with 
the singing of the offender, that she heard the 
complaint without making any reply ; so that 
the matter passed off for this time without 
farther discussion ; but Marchesi happening to 
repeat the experiment, and appear at the next 
concert with still greater pomp than before, 
the rase of Potemkin knew no bounds. He 
waited, however, till the performance was over, 


and then approaching the Empress in the ut- 
most agitation, thus addressed her : — " How 
can you expect your laws and regulations to be 
observed, when you allow them to be so shame- 
fully violated and trampled under foot by so 
degraded a beino- as an Italian CastratoV To 
Avhich Catherine good-humouredly replied; 
" My dear Prince, 1 made these laws, it is true, 
but I never contemplated including his spe- 
cies. They were intended for men such as 
yourself. Let this poor devil, therefore, come 
to the concerts with twelve horses if he pleases, 
they will never bring him on a level with 
you !"* 

Prince Narishkin assured me, that the fate 
of Peter III. induced Potemkin peremptorily 
to refuse becoming the husband of Catherine, 
after she had been rejected by a previous fa- 

* Marches! was as notorious for ignorance and presump- 
tion in his intercourse with society as he was celebrated for 
his great vocal powers. He had the merit of bringing out 
Madame Catalani, and several other singers of eminence. 
The first-named, whose success in this country has been so 
rarely equalled, is remarkable for having not only imbibed 
the excellencies of her master, but imitated his faults ; which 
circumstance has always operated most detrimentally to her 
fame in Italy. 


vourite, Stanislaus Poniatowski.* Even in Na- 
rishkin's presence, he told her that he would 
never take the place of Stanislaus but as a ^j/'o- 
tempore employ ment.f There is little doubt of 
this fact, since it was well known to many of 
Potemkin's most intimate friends, to whom he 
was frequently in the habit of saying, that he 
found it much more easy to govern a mistress 
than he could an Imperial wife. 

During the first years of their intimacy, Po- 
temkin was subject to violent fits of jealousy 
against the fickle Catherine, and, as I was often 
informed, not without frequent cause. On 
these occasions it was not unusual for him to 
leave marks of his rage on the person of her 
Imperial Majesty, which sometimes prevented 
her from appearing in public for a few days, 
and at others, rendered it necessary for her to 
wear long gloves on those delicately formed 
arms which she was in general very fond of ex- 
posing to the court gazers. 

When, however, his appetite became cloyed 

* If I have been silent with regard to this celebrated cha- 
racter, it is because his life and vicissitudes are intended 
to be referred to in a future portion of these memoirs, 
wherein several additional facts relative to the Court of 
Saint Petersburgh will be detailed. 

t The Princess DaschkoiF told me, that whenever Cathe- 
rine was displeased with her son Paul she would threaten 


by long enjoyment, and he wished to devote 
himself to public affairs, Potemkin was known 
to be the principal promoter of that passion 
for variety in which the Empress indulged du- 
ring the last years of her life. Aware of his 
activity and talents for governing, Catherine, 
in return for his considerate complaisance, left 
him in full possession of the whole executive 
power ; and though she was, to the last, inde- 
fatigable in superintending the concerns of her 
vast empire, she lived on terms of almost unin- 
terrupted harmony with her old paramour till 
the period of his death. 

The singular anomaly by which this extra- 
ordinary woman combined such a course of 
licentious habits, with the most abstruse cares 
of legislation and government, has been a theme 
of great astonishment with her contemporaries, 
as it must become to posterity. I was inform- 
ed by the Princess Narishkin, that when the 
Empress discontinued her visits to the Prince 
Potemkin, her evenings w^ere frequently passed 
in the society of Platon Zuboff, I^ord Whit- 
worth, and the Princess Jerebzoff, with whom 
his Eordship is said to have had a liaison of a 

him by saying, — " I will marry Prince Potemkin^, if it is only 
to be revenged on you, and deprive you of the crown^ by 
having a legitimate heir !" 


very tender nature, during his embassy to the 
court of Russia. Whist was the usual game, and 
her Majesty would often say to the ambassador, 
" My lord, I may surely indulge in another 
rubber, after having been occupied so inces- 
santly during the day." Such indeed was her 
assiduity whenever couriers were about to be 
despatched, that she has often had her dinner cut 
by an attendant, and ate with one hand while 
she continued to write with the other. " There 
is no example," said the Princess Narishkin one 
day, " of her ever having neglected an imme- 
diate answer to any letters or despatches which 
required it; and sometimes when indisposed, 
or compelled to keep her bed, she would dic- 
tate to her secretaries, if unable to write her- 
self ; so that neither the foreign nor domestic 
concerns of the state ever suffered the smallest 

Although so dissolute in her own habits, 
Catherine was not inattentive to the improve- 
ment of public manners, which were on her 
accession in a most barbarous state. Among 
other customs, which had been consecrated by 
time, it was by no means uncommon for women 
of the first rank to receive frequent corporal 
punishment at court, and even in the presence 
of the sovereign, from their husbands, if the 


latter felt themselves aggrieved either through 
jealousy or any other cause. To have openly 
decreed the abolition of this custonn, brutal as 
it was, might have been almost as perilous as 
the innovations which proved so fatal to the 
late unfortunate Emperor. In order, therefore, 
to avoid offending the aristocracy, and at the 
same time to ensure the object in view, she 
very ingeniously promulgated a decree, by 
which it was ordered that no man should beat 
his wife till after ten o'clock at night, at which 
hour, she well knew the nobles were all in bed, 
as they generally supped between six and 
seven, and retired about nine. This admirable 
contrivance produced all the effect that could 
be wished, except in a few instances, and may 
thus be said to have led to a most salutary im- 
provement of manners in Russia. 

After having related the circumstances con- 
nected with the above celebrated decree, the 
Princess Narishkin added : — " I am truly sorry 
to be obliged to place the Duke of Wurtem- 
berg among the exceptions to which I have 
before alluded." She then proceeded to in- 
form me, that being then the husband of the 
eldest daughter of the late Duchess of Bruns- 
wick, he was, on the second marriage of the 


Grand-duke Paul to his sister,* invited to visit 
the Court of Saint Petersburgh, together with 
his wife. The young couple had not been 
many weeks at court before every body was 
struck with the cpntrast between them ; for 
while the manners of the Duke were haughty, 
uncouth, and violent, those of the Duchess 
endeared her to all parties. This circumstance 
was quite sufficient to rouse the jealousy of her 
husband, who, by a strange perversion of rea- 
son and sense, could not bear to see his wife 
an object of admiration and esteem with Ca- 
therine and her attendants. It is also probable 
that the marked attention such a woman could 
not fail to receive from the courtiers, operated 
on the jaundiced mind of the Prince. Be this 
as it may, he one day took occasion to find 
fault with her in the midst of a full court, and 
had even the brutality to strike her in the face 
while speaking to the Empress ! The effect 
produced on all who witnessed this atrocious 
act may be readily conceived. Catherine was 
so shocked by it, that he was instantly ordered 
to quit Russia, and never appear there again. 

* The present Empress-dowager, mother to Alexander, 
and who is supposed to have had so great a share in the 
recent events at Saint Petersburgh. 

VOL. I. F 


AVhile jjerforming this duty, not less required 
by her own dignity than merited for the gross 
violation of her famous domestic edict, the 
Empress would have most gladly retained the 
much-injured Duchess at her court.* 

This ill-fated Princess was, however, the 
mother of three children, whom she could not 
abandon to the care of such a father; and, 
therefore, with tears acknowledged her high 
sense of gratitude for the generous offer of 
the Empress, which she declined only on that 

* Sir N. Wraxall has given a different account of the 
above transaction. In the first place, the Duke was never 
in the Russian service, nor could he be, as the heir-apparent 
to the dukedom of his father. It was one of his brothers, of 
whom he had several. Prince Ferdinand, whom I frequently 
saw at Vienna, while governor of that city, was a very dif- 
ferent character to the heir-apparent : there were three other 
brothers, in the service of Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia. 
Nor did the Duchess of Wurtemburgh die in Russia, as 
asserted by the above-named writer. I am farther justified 
in saying that Catherine had no hand in the foul business 
of her untimely death : on the contrary, the Empress would 
have saved her had she remained at Saint Petersburgh. 

t The three children, for whom this amiable woman made 
such sacrifices, are the present King of Wurtemburg, Prince 
Paul, and the Princess Catherine, the late short-lived Queen 
of Westphalia, who has assumed the title of Duchess of iMont- 
fort, and is living with her husband, Jerome Bonaparte, at 
Shennau, near Vienna. 



The encouragement given by Catherine to 
foreigners of talent (no matter what their po- 

There is no reason whatever even to suspect the Empress 
Catherine of having anticipated, much less been accessory, 
in any degree, to the death of the late Duchess of Wurtem- 
burg. I have the best reason on earth for contradicting the 
insinuations and calumnies which have gone abroad on this 
subject, in the testimony of her own mother, with whom I 
had a conversation on the subject at a nover in 1705, and at 
which the late Earl of Bristol happened to be present. In 
this interview, the Duchess of Brunswick, after lamenting 
the result of her daughter, the Princess of Wales's marriage, 
and the terms on which she lived with her husband, observed, 
— "I am, indeed, truly unfortunate with respect to both 
my daughters. The other, poor thing ! fell a sacrifice to the 
jealousy of her husband, who, after having led her a most 
wretched life, not satisfied with his brutal treatment during an 
existence, which was certainly shortened by ill-usage, calum- 
niated her memory in the grave." It may be readily sup- 
posed, that in a conversation like the above, continued for 
some time, the Duchess would not have omitted to make 
some allusion to Catherine, had there been the smallest mo- 
tive for doing so ; while, on the contrary, I well recollect her 
Highness having alluded to the memory of the Empress, and 
her great kindness to her daughter, in terms of warm appro- 
bation and gratitude. 

In speaking of the late unfortunate Queen Caroline, the 
Duchess said,—" I am convinced my daughter Caroline must 
have injured herself very much in the estimation of several 
of the British royal family, for having been too candid rela- 
tive to the cruel treatment of her sister, when the Duke mar- 
ried the Princess Royal of England, on the propriety of 
which match, her opinion had not been asked." 

F 2 


litical principles or religious tenets were), has 
been a warm subject of panegyric with all the 
historians of her reign ; while its great effect in 
promoting science and civilization cannot be 
doubted. Without waiting for the arrival of 
men who could not be supposed to have any 
particular inducement to visit the frozen re- 
gions of the North, it was a favourite maxim 
of the Empress to invite all those whom she 
thought likely to contribute to the improve- 
ment of her empire and its institutions. These 
she almost invariably rewarded with pensions, 
privileges, or lucrative employments. When- 
ever it occurred that those who came to Saint 
Petersburg!! did not possess all the talents ne- 
cessary to answer the views of her Imperial 
Majesty, they were provided with ample means 
for returning to their own country, and often 
received valuable presents : Catherine observ- 
ing, on such occasions — " People do not come 
here for change of air, but to better their for- 
tunes, it is therefore but fair that they should 
not be disappointed in their expectations, after 
the trouble and fatigue of so long a journey." 

If by chance any artists or professors of sci- 
ence came to the capital unsought for, she 
would inuuediately inquire who they were, 
and what were their abilities ? If eminent in 


their professions, she would say to Potemkin, 
" We must show ourselves sensible of their 
merits by our liberality, and thus induce them 
to stop and instruct our uncivilized subjects." 
— If, on the contrary, they were reported, 
(though she did not wholly rely on report, 
but would herself examine the persons before 
she gave a final decision,) not to be above 
mediocrity, she then said; "AVell, something 
must be done for these poor people, to enable 
them to return from whence they came, so 
that they may speak well of us, and thus in- 
duce others of greater abilities to visit us here- 

It has been truly observed, that the selection 
of La Harpe as the tutor to her grandson, 
Alexander, is of itself a singular proof of the 

* The celebrated satirist, Casti, author of the Aiiimali 
Parlanti, was among those men of genius who were invited 
to visit the court of Catherine ; but this was not the element 
for such an elastic and volatile mind ; so that he went back 
to Vienna in disgust. It was here, and under the immediate 
auspices of Joseph II., his early patron and friend, that Casti 
wrote his Crema di Tartaro, a cutting satire on Catherine and 
her ministers, every stanza of which was shown to the Em- 
peror as it came from the poet's brain. Happening to meet 
Casti a few years after at Paris, he told me, that on returning 
his manuscript, Joseph said, — " Print it by all means; but 
rest assured I shall not offend you, lest you should serve me 
in the same way !' 


liberality and discrimination of Catherine, while 
it does more towards ensuring the glory she 
may have acquired in her political capacity, 
than the most brilliant conquests could have 



Accession of Paul. — Reciprocal hatred between him and 
Catherine. — He rejects the whole of her household. — Pre- 
cautions adopted to prevent himself from being poisoned. — 
Eccentricities which marked the first days of his reign. — 
Singular address to the murderers of his father. — Treat- 
ment of Platon Zouboff.— The part which this favourite of 
Catherine is supposed to have taken in the assassination of 
Paul.— Exile of the Princess DaschkoiF.— Character of the 
Princess. — System of Catherine with regard to the children 
of Paul. — Some account of his first wife the Princess of 
Hesse Darmstadt. — Cruel conduct of Catherine towards 
the Princess. 

Paul, the son and successor of Catherine 
II., has been very justly regarded as at once 
the most vicious and vindictive Prince who 
was ever entrusted with the reins of govern- 
ment, either in Kussia or any other country. 
His despotic turn of mind and hatred of his 
fellow-creatures extended even to his mother, 
whose name he could never hear pronounced 


without horror. But this dislike was mutual ; 
for even in his earliest youth, she was wont to 
say, " He was as brutal in his manners, as he 
was disgustingly ugly in his countenance:" — 
as to Paul, he parodied this favourite exclama- 
tion by observing of the Empress, that she was 
not more insensible to maternal feeling, than 
despotically tyrannical as a sovereign ; frequent- 
ly accusing her of the miu'der of his father, 
and usurpation of his own rights to the sove- 

The madness and folly which marked the 
whole reign of Paul, commenced with the first 
day of his accession to power. Scarcely had 
the death of Catherine been annovmced to him, 
when orders were given to disinter the bones 
of his father the late Emperor ; a proclama- 
tion was at the same time issued, commanding 
that all the nobility of the capital, military 
staff, and public functionaries, should meet the 
mouldered remains of Peter III., which they 
did, bareheaded, in the most inclement season ; 
Paul and his family leading the way for many 

* Tins fact is fully confirmed in the very interesting Me- 
moirs of IMadame Campan, who gives a lively description of 
the sentiments expressed by Paul, relative to the treatment 
of his father, to Louis XVI., when he was at Versailles with 
his wife the Grand-duchess. 


versts on the road to PeterhofF. On meeting; 
the funeral procession, the whole of the persons 
thus assembled, including the Imperial family, 
fell on their knees in the midst of the snow, 
and remained in that position till the hearse 
had passed, when they rose and followed it in 
profound silence to Saint Petersburgh, where 
it was placed in one of the most magnificent 
rooms of the Palace. Here the urn, or sar- 
cophagus, covered with an Imperial mantle, and 
accompanied with all the insignia of Peter's 
rank as autocrat, were, according to ancient cus- 
tom, exposed to the public for several days, 
while the body of Catherine remained in an 
adjoining apartment without any pomp, and 
but very little noticed ! 

This mockery of filial gratitude and affec- 
tion had the double effect of proving the ha- 
tred of Paul to his mother, and removing every 
idea, on the part of the public, that he did not 
believe himself to be actually the son of the 
monarch whose remains were thus honoured. 
So deep-rooted was his antipathy to Catherine, 
that he rejected the attendance of any of the 
individuals in her household. And such was 
his fear of being poisoned, that orders were 
given to Rostopchin, his chamberlain, to send 
for his own private cook to prepare the food 


in a separate kitchen, as well as that all those 
who had been concerned in its preparation, 
should taste of every dish before it was laid on 
the Imperial table : a practice which Prince 
Narishkin told me was intended to be scrupu- 
lously observed during the whole of this reign. 
The Prince, to whom I was indebted for 
the above details, farther informed me, that on 
Paul's entering the state-room, (on the occasion 
above alluded to of his father's exhumation,) 
which was crowded to excess by persons of all 
ranks, who had come to witness the remains of 
the departed sovereigns, the first persons who 
more particularly attracted his attention, were 
Teploff, Baratinski, and Alexis OrlofF, the as- 
sassins of Peter III., upon which he thus ad- 
dressed them : " I am not unacquainted with 
the active part you took in the last moments 
of my late unhappy parent, and shall therefore 
consign the guardianship of his remains to your 
especial care, until they are again interred, not 
as they were by the infamous wretches who 
employed you to perpetrate the murder, but as 
the long-neglected and much injured Czar of 
all the Russias, by his affectionate son, who in 
silence bewailed his untimely death, and now 
takes the first opportunity of doing homage to 
his memory." 


Both the Princes YiirussofF and Narishkin, 
who stood near the new Emperor while he de- 
livered the above singular address, assured me 
that the tears gushed from his eyes before the 
sentence was concluded, and prevented his utter- 
ance for some moments. The effect on those 
who had no share in the revolution, was that of 
exciting sentiments of admiration and pity ; 
while the aiders and abettors of the conspiracy, 
of whom numbers were present, naturally trem- 
bled for themselves ; and it is not improbable 
that the proceedings on this occasion laid the 
foundation of a new plot, by which Paul was 
destined to experience a fate similar to that of 
his father. As to the assassins, they submitted 
in silence to the extraordinary duty imposed on 
them, and having remained near the bones 
of their victim, until entombed in the vaults of 
the Czars, they were sent into perpetual exile, 
and, as I was informed, never heard of after- 

Platon ZoubofF (the last paramour of Cathe- 
rine) was treated at first precisely in the same 
way. Paul having also discovered him among 
the assembled nobles, said, " Prince Zouboff, I 
am fully aware of the intimacy which subsist- 
ed between you and my late unnatural mother, 
and I cannot, therefore, entrust her mortal re- 


mains to better custody than that of one who 
valued her so higlily while living."* 

The subsequent treatment of ZoubofF was, 
however, very different from that of the mur- 
derers. After having performed the last offices 
to his departed mistress, he contrived to ingra- 
tiate himself to such a degree into the good 
graces of Paul, that he was entrusted with the 
command of the household troops, one of the 
most important posts in the empire. 

The most accredited reports concerning the 
death of Paul, state that Platon ZoubofF was 
the principal instrument in bringing about the 
event. The folly and cruelties of this Empe- 
ror were not, as it is well known, confined to 
the nobility and ministers ; the members of his 
own family were also the frequent objects of 
his caprice or wrath. This hostiUty is said to 
have been stimulated to such a degree by his 
mistress, Madame Chevalier, that he not only 
contemplated their exile to Siberia, but had 
actually made arrangements for carrying the 
threat into execution. This project was, of it- 
self, quite sufficient to prove the deranged state 
of the despot's intellects, without any reference 

* These facts, tliough not so minutely detailed^ are fully 
confirmed in Wraxall'a JNIemoirs. 


to his general policy. So that Zouboff was con- 
fidently believed to have given his sanction to, 
and even actively co-operated with, the party 
who had determined to deprive Paul both of 
his life and crown.* 

* Lord Whitworth, when I saw him at Paris, speaking of 
the affairs of Russia that took place soon after my quitting 
St. Petersburgh, assured me, among other circumstances 
respecting the premature death of Paul, that, whatever 
might have been said at the time, or since, no degree of guilt 
could be fairly attached to his late Majesty the Emperor 
Alexander. He added, that his death was not intended 
even by those who were commissioned to enforce his abdica- 
tion in Alexander's favour : but the moment they had ap- 
prised him of their mission, like a madman, he seized hold of 
a sword, in order to stab Platon ZoubofF. In the struggle 
which ensued, Paul fell upon a marble slab on the side of his 
head, with such violence that nothing could save him. The 
blow was mortal, in consequence of the quantity of blood 
that issued from his mouth, nose, and ears, as well as from 
the wound itself. When one of the party removed his sash, 
for the purpose of using it to stop the effusion, Paul became 
furious, entangled himself therein, and died from strangu- 

Lord Whitworth's authorities for this story, it appears, were 
Platon Zouboff himself, and his sister, with whom he is said to 
have had a liaison. Paul is said to have compassed the de- 
struction, or at least, the imprisonment, of his wife and 
children, owing to their remonstrances against the influence 
of his mistress, Mad. Chevalier, a French actress. He is 
reported to have actually contemplated placing this woman 
on the throne, after deposing hia lawful wife. Alexander 


Though among the last objects of his resent- 
ment, Paul did not forget the conspicuous 
part played by the Princess Daschkoff in the de- 
thronement of his father. This Princess, who 
had survived her ungrateful mistress, had re- 
tired to Moscow before the death of Catherine, 
and vainly imagined she had escaped the pro- 
scription, when orders were issued for her ar- 
rest and exile. One of the confidential female 
attendants of the Princess, who was present at 
the time, told me, that when the officer charged 
to signify the Emperor's orders entered her 
room, she looked at him with an air of the ut- 
most contempt, and, turning to my informant, 
coolly observed, — " Well ! I have certainly 
deserved this, for having prevented his mo- 
ther from strangling the ugly monster in his 
cradle!" Then going towards the fire for a few 
minutes, and rubbing her hands, she rang the 
bell, and on the entry of her valet-de-chambre 
said, with the greatest composure, — " Prepare 
every thing for a long journey." Upon which 

eubsequently behaved to Mad. Chevalier in the most ge- 
nerous manner, allowing her to depart from his capital for 
France, with all her ill-gotten wealth ; although the Rus- 
sian nobility, greatly incensed, demanded her merited punish- 
ment, for the evil deeds to which she had but too obviously 
swayed the weak mind of her lover. 


she hastened to take leave of those friends 
who were immediately aboii^t her person, and 
set out for Siberia, as if she was goino- on an 
ordinary visit. 

This enterprising woman, to whom Cathe- 
rine was so mainly indebted for her elevation 
to the Imperial throne, had been on terms of 
the most confidential intimacy with the Em- 
press, ever since her marriage with Peter. 
When introduced to her by the Princess Wal- 
konski, at Saint Petersburgh, I was particu- 
larly struck by the elegance of her address and 
polished manners, and not less astonished at 
observing all the vivacity of youth in a woman 
who had then attained her seventieth year. I 
was afterwards freqviently amused by the unre- 
served manner in which she spoke of the ingra- 
titude and ill-treatment experienced from her 
Imperial ^wotegee, as she would call Catherine. 
She deeply lamented the part she had taken in 
the revolution, and was so full of resentment 
at the return made by the Empress, that she 
often congratulated me on not having come to 
Russia before Catherine's death, lest my con- 
nexion with the royal family of another coun- 
try, and the missions with which I had been 
charged, might have also made me an object of 
jealousy or suspicion. 


As if Catherine had entertained an early pre- 
sentiment of the wild and ungovernable cha- 
racter of her son, she took every precaution to 
prevent his children from imbibing the hate- 
ful qualities of their father. This was more 
especially the case with the heir presumptive, 
Alexander, who was, while yet an infant, taken 
from the Grand-duchess his mother, and brought 
up under the immediate direction of the Em- 
press. Indeed Paul and his wife scarcely ever 
resided at St. Petersburgh, except during the 
time necessary for the latter's accouchement^ after 
which they returned to their country residence, 
leaving the children under the eyes of Cathe- 
rine, who, notwithstanding her own irregu- 
larities, devoted the utmost attention to their 
health and education. 

The first wife of Paul was one of the three 
Princesses of Hesse-Darmstadt,* who, though 
very plain, and consequently not likely to ex- 
cite the jealousy of Catherine, then in the hey- 

* One of the sisters was married to the late King of Prus- 
sia, and was the mother of the present King. The other 
was the first wife of the late King of Bavaria. Of two 
(laughters, the fruits of the latter marriage, one is the widow 
of Eugene Beauharnois, and the other wife to the Emperor 
of Austria. 


day of her gallantries, was nevertheless sacri- 
ficed to her hatred and resentment. 

The cause of Catherine's dislike is not exactly 
known, but it is attributed to a report circu- 
lated, when the Grand-duchess was far advanced 
in her first pregnancy, that she had shown a 
partiality for Count RosamufFski. On it reach- 
ing the ears of the Grand-duchess, this mali- 
cious story had such an effect on her health and 
spirits, that she was observed to decline in both 
daily, and at the time of her accouchement , 
nothing less than her own death could save 
the infant. To this alternative the Grand-duke, 
who was very much attached to her, perempto- 
rily objected; and, the fruit being destroyed to 
save the tree, the object of Catherine's vindic- 
tive solicitude was saved for this time at least. 
She, however, it is said, had recourse to mea- 
sures which were likely to be more effectual. 
Owing to the mismanagement, or want of skill, 
in her medical attendants, it was almost officially 
reported to the Empress, that the Grand-duchess 
would probably never be in a state to give 
an heir to the empire ; upon which Catherine, 
glad of a pretext, lost no time in signifying to 
her son, that it was highly necessary for their 
mutual interests, and in order to secure the suc- 

VOL. I. G 


cession in a direct line, that his present wife 
should be repudiated. There being no specific 
charge made against his wife's fidelity, Paul 
resisted the proposition of his mother, on the 
ground of its injustice and the strength of his 
affection, until some proofs of her criminality 
could be adduced. These reasons were no sooner 
given, than documents were forged for the pur- 
pose of overcoming all his scruples ; and, being 
no longer able to resist the resolution of the 
Empress, his unhappy wife was left to her fate, 
and soon perished, the innocent victim of Im- 
perial vengeance. 

How well her solicitude has been repaid with 
regard to Alexander, whose sudden death has 
lately excited so many surmises, and totally 
changed the aspect of European politics, if it 
has not marked the era of a revolution through- 
out his vast dominions, has been proved by a 
mode of government wherein it would be an 
act of injustice to deny, that if he did not 
evince any very great talents as a soldier or 
statesman, he is entitled to the praise of hav- 
ing displayed much greater virtue and mode- 
ration than any of his predecessors. 



Introduction of Stanislaus Poniatowsky at the Court of Saint 
Petersburgh. — He attracts the notice of Catherine. — Their 
intimacy promoted by the Princess DaschkofF. — Stanislaus 
excites the jealousy of the courtiers, and is ordered to quit 
the capital. — Intrigue to bring him back. — He is named 
Plenipotentiary, and returns. — Farther observations on the 
abandoned character of the Empress Elizabeth — Conduct 
of the Grand-duke Peter. — Adventure at Oranienbaum. — 
Statements of Dalolio relative to the birth of Paul and the 
Princess Anne. — Conduct of Catherine towards her former 
lover. — Contrasted with that of Paul. — Death of Stanislaus- 
— Honour paid to his memory. — Character and virtues of 
the last King of Poland. — Partition Scheme. — Its retro-ac- 
tive effect. — Anecdote relative to the last partition of Po- 
land. — Secret motives of Catherine. — Declaration of Sta- 
nislaus to the patriot Kosciusko. — Prince Radzivil's opinion 
of Mr. Gardiner. — Brutal conduct of Stackelberg towards 

The elevation of Stanislaus Poniatowsky to 
a throne, and his precipitate fall, brought about 
by the very hand which raised him from a pri- 
vate station, furnish a strong illustration, if any 

G 2 


were wanting, of the instability of fortune, and 
capricious uncertainty of court favour — more es- 
pecially when exercised by a woman of Cathe- 
rine the Second's temperament and dissolute 

Nothing could be more favourable than the 
auspices under which Stanislaus arrived at Saint 
Petersburgh. With a fine person, fascinating 
manners, and a knowledge of several languages, 
greatly improved by foreign travel, he came 
to Russia as the private secretary and friend 
of Sir Hanbury Williams, the British Ambassa- 
dor. The removal of SoltikofF, and efforts made 
by tlie Chancellor Bestucheff to prevent his 
return, were highly favourable to the success 
of Foniatowsky, who was soon allured from his 
diplomatic labours by the varied amusements 
of the court, where his appearance could not fail 
to attract the notice of Catherine. Nor was 
Stanislaus himself long in perceiving the impres- 
sion he had made on the heart of the Grand- 
duchess. '*' 

As might well be expected, the growing in- 
timacy of Catherine and Stanislaus excited the 
jealousy of the courtiers : this was so openly 
manifested, that, but for the ingenuity and ad- 
dress of the Princess Daschkoff, the happiness 
which they had promised themselves might 


have been protracted to an indefinite period, if 
not prevented altogether. As anxious to encou- 
rage the passions, as to promote the ambitious 
views, of her mistress, the Princess, aided by an 
ItaUan Secretary, enabled the lovers to enjoy an 
unreserved intercourse for some time ; but it 
was impossible to elude the vigilance of the spies 
whom the enemies of the Grand-duchess had 
employed to watch her conduct, and having 
made reiterated complaints to the Empress, she 
was at length forced to take the matter up ; 
and though indulging in the most shameless 
excesses herself, Elizabeth suddenly issued an 
order for Stanislaus to quit Russia. It was in 
vain to remonstrate against this mandate, and 
the discontented lover was under the necessity of 
setting out before he scarcely had time to take 
leave of his mistress. As to Catherine, though 
deeply affected for a time, her characteristic 
hypocrisy was soon put into requisition ; she ap- 
peared reconciled to her fate, and knowing that 
old BestuchefF, who then guided the councils 
of Elizabeth, could not entertain the same 
jealousy against Poniatowsky that he did with 
regard to SoltikofF, she determined to leave no- 
thing untried to gain over the Chancellor, and, 
through his means, bring her lover back to 
court. Having put every spring in motiofi for 


this purpose, and being powerfully seconded by 
Sir Hanbury AVilliams, BestuchefF was induced 
to write to the Count de Brubl, first minister 
to Augustus, the reigning King of Poland, and 
who, being anxious to cultivate the friendship 
of so influential a character in Russia, readily 
entered into the views of the Chancellor. His 
first step, in furtherance of the above object, 
was to decorate Stanislaus with the order of the 
White Eagle ; he was then named Ambassador 
extraordinary to the Court of Saint Petersburgh ; 
and this with the full consent of the British 
and Prussian ministers at the court of Augustus. 
The new nomination was, however, so highly 
disapproved of by the cabinets of Paris and 
Vienna, that Durand, charge d'affaires to the 
former, no sooner heard of it, than he hastened 
to make the most violent remonstrances against 
a measure which could not fail to exasperate 
France ; since it was of the utmost consequence 
for the safety of Poland, to conciliate the ca- 
binets of Versailles and Vienna, it being noto- 
rious that Russia continued to entertain views 
highly dangerous to its independence. 

While tlic Covmt de Bruhl loudly protested 
that he had no share in the recent nomination, 
the most minute instructions were prepared for 
the regulation of Poniatowsky's conduct, and 

i . 



SO anxious was the Polish minister to insure 
the success of the mission, that he placed a 
considerable sum in the hands of the new ple- 
nipotentiary, to be secretly advanced to Cathe- 
rine, whenever she should stand in need of as- 
sistance ; an event of very frequent occurrence, 
owing to the limited allowance made by the 
Empress, as well as the extravagant habits 
in which she continually indulged. 

On reaching his destination, Stanislaus did 
not fail to make the best possible use of the 
Count de Bruhl's counsels and liberality ; he 
was of course received with open arms by the 
Grand-duchess, and left no art untried to gain 
the confidence of her husband, with whom he 
soon become a great favourite. Indeed, to do 
this, it was only necessary to smoke, drink, and 
applaud the military system of Frederick II., 
who had now become the idol of Peter in all 
things. He thus succeeded for some time in 
lulling the suspicions of the Grand-duke, who 
entertained the highest opinion of Stanislaus, 
while the numerous spies placed over the con- 
duct of Catherine vainly endeavoured to open 
his eyes to her criminal proceedings. 

According to the testimony of the Princess 
Narishkin, the court of Elizabeth had by this 
time become the most debauched in Europe ; 



the Empress herself exhibiting a disgusting con- 
trast of sensuality and superstition, at one time 
indulging in the most shameless excesses, while 
at others she appeared to be absorbed in the 
reveries of a religious devotee. With such an 
example before her eyes, no wonder if Cathe- 
rine considered her own frailties as innocent 
pastimes compared with those of the Empress ; 
nor did she fail, whenever any person ventured 
to suggest a more circumspect line of conduct, 
to point at what was passing at court. 

When the intercourse of Catherine and Po- 
niatowsky became so notorious, that he was 
almost publicly said to be the father of her 
second child, the Princess Anne, (who died soon 
after her birth,) it was impossible any longer 
to tolerate a circumstance which threatened 
the tranquillity of the state ; so that the Grand- 
duchess, without being openly accused, was 
merely removed from Saint Petersburgh to the 
palace of Oranienbaum, where she resided in a 
species of exile. It was during her stay here, 
that an adventure occurred to Stanislaus, which 
might have produced the most serious conse- 
quences, instead of merely contributing, as it 
did, to the amusement of the court. 

As Peter continued to indulge all his own 
excesses in a different part of the palace, Ca- 


therine conceived that she had also a right to 
some recreation, and having consulted her con- 
fidential attendants, the Princesses DaschkofF 
and Narishkin, they contrived occasionally to 
manage secret interviews between her and 
Poniatowsky. These had not been often en- 
joyed, before the spies of the Grand-duke dis- 
covered the circumstance, and hastening to 
communicate it to their master, he determined 
to be revenged on one of the parties at least. 
Accordingly, on his next visit, Stanislaus had 
scarcely entered the avenue in which he was in 
the habit of meeting Catherine, than one of the 
guards came up, and insisted on knowing Avho 
he was, and what were the objects of his being 
in that unfrequented spot. Upon this sudden 
interruption, Poniatowsky, with great presence 
of mind, replied, that he was a German taylor, 
and merely going to take measure of some 
officers stationed at the palace. " Tliat may 
be," rejoined the Commissary, " but I have 
orders to conduct all who trespass here to the 
guard-house." It was in vain that Stanislaus, 
who had by this time become alarmed for his 
safety, endeavoured to disengage himself from 
the intruder, who, after some farther alterca- 
tioUj threw a handkerchief round his neck, 
and forcibly took him into custody : nor was 


it without considerable difficulty that the 
Ambassador-extraordinary obtained his release. 
So incensed was Peter at these visits, that he 
seriously deliberated with his friends on the 
propriety of making an example of Poniatow- 
sky; but on their representing the impolicy 
of giving farther publicity to the affair, and, 
moreover, that he had been sufficiently pu- 
nished by the recent humiliation, the affair 
was suffered to pass off without farther notice, 
except ari admonition to Stanislaus never to 
repeat the offence, on pain of incurring the 
highest penalties of the law.* When the re- 
sentment of Peter was somewhat assuaged, 
and the friends of Poniatowsky ventured to 
express their surprise at the ignominious man- 
ner in which a foreign ambassador, and the 
representative of a crowned head, had been 
treated, he assumed an air of surprise, and 
affected to be totally ignorant of what had 
happened. This did not, however, prevent 

• I was informed by Madame Narishkin, that Krezinski, 
the friend and companion of Poniatowsky, found it necessary 
to prevail on his mistress, the Countess Romanzolf, who was 
a great favourite with Elizabeth, to intercede with the latter 
for the release and pardon of Stanislaus. Even the good 
offices of the Countess Woronzoff are said to have been also 
put in requisition. 


him from frequently alluding to the circum- 
stance at his own table, and he generally took 
care to do so when the Grand-duchess was 

The attachment of Catherine for Stanislaus 
was so strong, that it outlived the mere gra- 
tification of her passions. There is great rea- 
son to believe that she contemplated his ele- 
vation to the throne of Poland, even before 
her own accession to power. At all events, 
a constant correspondence was kept up be- 
tween the lovers after the return of Poniatow- 
sky to Warsaw. This intercourse, which also 
required to be carried on with great precau- 
tion, was managed through the medium of the 
Baron de Breteuil, the French ambassador. 

Dalolio, the celebrated violoncello player, 
who had been attached to the suite of Stanis- 
laus, on his nomination to the embassy, and 
followed his fortunes when raised to the 
throne of Poland, assured me that there must 
have been some secret motive for the long con- 
tinuance of the intercourse which took place 
between his master and Catherine, quite un- 
known even to the spies who were appoint- 
ed to watch their movements. He likewise 
informed me, that Stanislaus, when questioned 
by one of his most confidential friends relative 


to the infant Princess Anne, (of whom he was 
considered as the father by the whole court,) 
instead of denying the charge, artfully turned 
the conversation on another subject, which had 
been frequently spoken of as involving great 
mystery. This related to a story, circulated 
with the utmost secresy, and only known to 
a few individuals, which stated the singular 
fact of the Empress Elizabeth's having caused 
a child of her own by Razoumoffsky to be 
substituted for that of Catherine at her first 
accouchement; and this supposition was greatly 
strengthened by the excessive fondness at all 
times shown towards the infant by her Im- 
perial INIajesty. The circumstance of Paul's 
bearing a much more striking resemblance to 
the Cossack favourite and Elizabeth than to 
cither of his reputed parents, was an additional 
motive for crediting the above assertion. On 
questioning my informant, as to what became 
of the real child of Catherine, he replied, that 
it had either been sent off to a distant province 
or strangled ; adding, that in a country where 
so little ceremony was used in disposing of the 
sovereign himself, it was not likely that much 
importance would be attached to the existence 
of a new-born infant. 

Dalolio adverted to another anecdote which, 


he said, convinced him there must be some 
truth in the foregoing story. When, at a sub- 
sequent period, an ineffectual attempt had been 
made by the Princess DaschkoflP and her friends 
to brine: about a reconciUation between Cathe- 
rine and the Empress, Poniatowsky, in order 
to try the feehngs of the latter, advised the 
Grand-duchess to request permission to with- 
draw from Russia altogether, and reside in 
some part of Germany. This experiment, 
made at a time when matters had proceeded 
so far that Catherine was considered as totally 
ruined by the whole court, produced all the 
effect which Stanislaus anticipated. Instead of 
her departure from Petersburgh, the Grand- 
duchess was sent for to court, and after mutual 
explanations, followed by every assurance of 
protection and kindness from Elizabeth, she 
appeared at the theatre in the evening, accom- 
panied by young Paul, upon whom, as well 
as herself, the Empress lavished every possible 
mark of tenderness. As to Poniatowsky, to 
whose ingenuity this happy event was due, he 
was most graciously treated by her Imperial 
Majesty, and received a magnificent present on 
taking his leave to return to Warsaw, whence 
he had come for the express purpose of effect- 
ing an object in which every body else had 


Another circumstance, said Dalolio, which oc- 
curred during the visit of my late master to St. 
Petersburgh, tended still more strongly to 
confirm his suspicions as to the birth of Paul. 
On Catherine's communicating what had taken 
place at Schlusselberg, between Peter and the 
unfortunate Prince Ivan, to the Empress, the 
latter appeared very unexpectedly at the the- 
atre on the same evening, merely accompanied 
by her confidential courtiers, Catherine and 
Paul. Seeing that the audience was very small, 
she ordered her chamberlain to call in the sol- 
diers of her guard, which soon filled the house, 
upon which she took the child in her arms, and 
held him up to the view of the veterans who 
had placed herself on the throne. As if this 
demonstration was perfectly understood by the 
soldiery, it had no sooner taken place, than the 
whole house rang with the loudest plaudits, in 
which " Jjong live the Empress, and Paul Pe- 
trovitz !" was repeated by every voice. As in- 
directly connected with the history of Paul's 
birth, it is worthy of remark, that Catherine 
was herself suspected (as has been already said) 
of having been concerned in tlie circumstances 
which led to the death of his first wife, and 
wliich resulted from the treatment experienced 
durino- her accouchement ! 


It was said to have been tlie intention of Eliza- 
beth to set aside Peter, and proclaim Paul in 
his place, in which case Catherine would have 
probably become Regent, Death, however, put 
an end to her schemes, and left the field open 
to a still more able intrigante. The solici- 
tude shown by the Empress about Paul, con- 
trasted with the hatred and disgust manifested 
by Catherine from the moment of his birth to 
her own death, has been regarded as quite cor- 
roborative of the above singular story. 

I was credibly informed by Dalolio, that Ca- 
therine had for many years looked up to Sta- 
nislaus for advice in every situation of diffi- 
culty, and that although separated from her, 
and succeeded by so many rivals, she never 
undertook any important measure without first 
consultino- her former lover. This was more 
particularly the case, in all the steps which 
led to her usurpation of the Imperial crown, as 
well as in the affaii' of the ill-fated Princess 
TarrakanofF, whose inhuman treatment by Or- 
loff has excited the indignation of so many 

* The whole of the circumstances connected with this atro- 
cious transaction, were minutely related to me at Leghorn, 
in 1793, by a Russian resident of that place, who was an 
eye witness of the affair. His story did not materially differ 



Stroner as the attachment of Catherine cer- 
tainly was, and powerful as her motives were, 
in all probability, for raising Poniatowsky to 
the throne, there is no act in the life of that 
extraordinary woman which tends to show her 
character in a more odious light, than her con- 
duct to Stanislaus during the last years of his 
reign, up to the execrable partition of his 
kingdom, and it may be said, his own imprison- 
ment at Grodno. While this conduct of Ca- 
therine proves that she must have been totally 
destitute of any generous feeling, it furnishes 
another illustration of the effects of ambition, 
in destroying all those virtues which give dig- 
nity to our nature. 

On a first view of the subject, the elevation 
of Poniatowsky to a throne by his mistress, was 
peculiarly calculated to excite the applause of 
her contemporaries, so far as the personal feel- 
ings of Catherine were concerned ; but when 
her subsequent proceedings in shackling all the 
measures of the new King, and placing such 
men as Stackelberg near his person, with the 

from that of Castera, as repeated by Wraxall^ except that, 
unlike the latter writer, he entertained no doubt whatever of 
the criminal conduct of Sir John Dick, who lent himself to 
the villanous design of Orloff, and was perhaps the cause of 
its being crowned with such complete success. 


title of ambassador^ but virtually to govern his 
kingdom until the plan of spoliation and par- 
tition should be finally ripened, are considered, 
it is impossible to acquit the Empress of hav- 
ing been at once the most consummate hypo- 
crite and unprincipled woman ever entrusted 
with political power. 

If the conduct of Catherine towards her early 
friend and lover has tended to cover her me- 
mory with opprobrium, that of Paul, as regards 
the same individual, really displays his charac- 
ter, otherwise so repulsive, in a most favour- 
able point of view. There was something so 
truly noble and generous in his inviting the 
dethroned monarch to St. Petersburgh, and not 
only allotting a palace for his future residence, 
but showing Stanislaus all the respect due to a 
sovereign, that it is scarcely possible to recon- 
cile it with the various follies of his reign. It 
was this treatment, on the part of Paul, which 
induced the dethroned monarch to tell his 
friends that he felt himself more a king at St. 
Petersburgh, than he had ever done while at 

The demeanour of Stanislaus on his arrival in 
the Russian capital, and that affability of man- 
ner which he manifested towards all those who 
approached him, soon endeared the dethroned 

VOL. I. H 


monarch to the public, and greatly tended to 
increase tiieir sympathy in his favour. Hap- 
pening to be at St. Petersburg!! soon after the 
arrival of Stanislaus, I frequently saw him in 
public, and was particularly struck by the dig- 
nity of his appearance. He still possessed a 
most imposing figure, while his countenance 
retained a great portion of that expression 
which had formerly caused him to be regarded 
as one of the handsomest men in Europe. 

Naturally anxious to know more of a prince 
who had experienced such trying vicissitudes, 
1 gladly availed myself of the kind offer of an 
introduction made me by Lord Whitworth, to 
whom I had brought letters of introduction 
from INIr. Hailes, our ambassador at the court 
of Stockholm, and had been invited to accom- 
pany his lordship to the first party given by 
Stanislaus, who was passionately fond of music. 

It was on the morning of the day on which 
I anticipated this treat, and when preparing to 
go to the Catholic church to hear mass, that 
the Duke de Sera Capriola, the Neapolitan am- 
bassador, came to inform me that the King of 
Poland had been attacked during the night 
with a fit of apoplexy, that he was quite 
speechless, and not expected to survive twen- 
ty-four hours. Having accompanied the Duke 


to the house of Princess Narishkin in the even- 
ing, we found nearly all those who were invited 
to visit the unfortunate King deploring the un- 
looked-for malady of a Prince who, but a few 
hours before, had been busily occupied in giving 
directions relative to the approaching soiree ! As 
generally occurs on such occasions, the virtues 
of Poniatowsky, and the persecutions he had ex- 
perienced, became the general theme of conver- 
sation ; and when at a later hour Lord Whit- 
worth entered to announce his death, it was 
instantly buzzed about the rooms that he must 
have been poisoned, an insinuation upon which 
every body expatiated according to his own 
way of thinking. The reasonings on this sub- 
ject had not however proceeded far, before the 
British ambassador, who had been the constant 
companion of Stanislaus, ever since his arrival 
at St. Petersburgh, declared there was no foun- 
dation whatever for such a report, and that the 
Monarch's decease was alone caused by the 
attack of apoplexy, to which I have already 

The death of Stanislaus afforded Paul a fresh 
opportunity of showing his respect for the un- 
fortunate Prince. No sooner was the melan- 
choly event announced, than orders were issued 
to pay all the honours of royalty to the re- 

H 2 


mains of the deceased monarch. The corpse, 
having been accordingly placed in a coffin orna- 
mented with the insignia of royalty, remained 
the usual number of days laid out in the state 
apartments, which were magnificently hung 
with tlie richest black velvet curtains, and 
lighted with a profusion of wax tapers. When 
these preparations were completed, Paul, ac- 
companied by Prince Narishkin, proceeded to 
the scene of mourning, and, kneeling close to 
the coffin, prayed very fervently for some time ; 
after which he directed that the rooms should 
be thrown open to the public })revious to the 
final ceremony. After being exposed the usual 
number of days, the body was removed on a 
splendid hearse, constructed for the purpose, to 
the cathedral, where a solemn requiem, composed 
by Sarti for the occasion, was chanted. Mi- 
nute guns were heard from without, and shook 
the roof of the edifice, which was thronged 
with persons of every rank and condition. In- 
deed, the universal and ardent sympathy mani- 
fested at the funeral of Stanislaus was of itself 
an unequivocal testimony in favour of the cha- 
racter and virtues of the departed monarch. 

It was remarked as a singular coincidence, 
that the circumstances attendino; the death of 
Stanislaus were very similar to those of Catlie- 


rine herself. Their age was nearly the same ; 
he also was attacked by apoplexy, and Imgered 
about the same number of hours before his dis- 

Although there can be little doubt but that 
the ambitious views of Russia, with regard to 
Poland, might be traced to a much earlier date 
than the election of Stanislaus ; he possessed 
qualities of the head and heart which would 
have made him very popular with his new 
subjects ;* but from the system of intrigue 
pursued by Russian agents, who were constant- 
ly occupied in fomenting internal dissensions, 
by which the life of the monarch was fre- 
quently exposed to the greatest danger, and 
a species of perpetual civil war kept up, his 
title of king was a mere mockery from the be- 

The apathy with which those powers who 
did not join in the partition scheme witnessed 
the extinction of a monarchy, whose existence 

* Stanislaus is said to have excited a great deal of discon- 
tent, in consequence of his having been the first Sarmatian that 
caused himself to be crowned in the French royal robes, in- 
stead of the ancient Polish dress previously used on such 
occasions. As this was considered as an indication of still 
greater changes, it created the utmost jealousy among the 
principal nobility, not excepting some of the King's own re- 


was SO necessary for maintaining the balance of 
power in Europe, has been, as it ever must be, 
a just source of astonishment and indignation 
with the patriots and politicians of every coun- 
try. But the almost inevitable consequences of 
political innovations, founded on injustice, were 
perhaps never so strongly exemplified as in the 
case of this ill-fated nation. Scarcely had the 
crime been perpetrated, when the colonists of 
North America, as if roused to avenge its enor- 
mity,* shook off the yoke of the mother coun- 
try ; hence a sanguinary war, in which immense 
blood and treasures were sacrificed. The French 
Revolution followed soon after : it is needless 
to dwell on the result of a struggle so unex- 
ampled in the history of mankind, to which 
that event gave rise. None, however, but 
those who are determined to shut their eyes to 
the lessons of history, will deny the analogy 
wliich exists between an act that seemed at 
once to destroy all confidence between the 
rulers and the governed, and the subsequent 
efforts made by almost every people in Europe 
to obtain guarantees which might secure them 
against both foreign and domestic aggressions. 

* It has been truly observed, that the resistance to a 
trifling tax levied at a single sea-port, was rather the pretext 
than the real cause of the American Revolution. 


During my stay in the Russian capital I 
was confidently informed, that from the gene- 
ral spirit which pervaded the Poles, the slight- 
est demonstration of physical aid and co-opera- 
tion from France or England, would have pro- 
duced such an effect in uniting them, that they 
might have easily resisted all the power of 
Russia; but seeing themselves abandoned, their 
spirits naturally flagged and were soon broken; 
though the efforts of Kosciusko, Zajonerek and 
their friends, are on record to prove that Po- 
land was not sacrificed without a struggle on 
the part of her brave but unfortunate sons. 

The only manifestation of sympathy towards 
the Poles consisted in the authority received 
by Tapper, the banker of Warsaw, from a fo- 
reign cabinet, to advance whatever sums Sta- 
nislaus might require for carrying on a defen- 
sive war. From what quarter this authority 
was derived has never transpired, as on its 
reaching the knowledge of the Russian ambas- 
sador, Tapper was murdered by a party of as- 
sassins, who waylaid him as he was coming out 
of his own house. 

With respect to the motives which actuated 
the conduct of Catherine towards her former 
paramour, they were variously stated to me 
while at Saint Petersburgh. Among others, 


the Princess Dasclikoff told Mr. Gardiner, who 
was for many years British ambassador in Po- 
land, and the intimate friend of Stanislaus, that, 
independent of her well-known views of am- 
bition, the Empress was stimulated to the first 
partition by her desire to humble the pride of 
Poniatowsky, in consequence of his refusal to 
consent to a private marriage ; adding, that 
she would have most probably dethroned him 
then, had not the Count de Vergennes, French 
minister at Warsaw, induced the Porte to take 
up the cause of Poland, and march a large 
body of troops towards the Crimea. Some 
threatening movements made by Gustavus III. 
of Sweden, on the side of Finland, at the same 
time, and also the interference of France, in- 
duced Catherine to suspend her project till a 
more favourable opportunity. On coming to 
this determination, the Empress observed to 
her confidant,— " Well, since he will not be 
my husband, he shall never be at peace till he 
has become my prisoner. He may then per- 
haps change his mind." 

That the reported anxiety of Catherine to 
marry Poniatowsky was believed by Kosciusko, 
1 have reason to know from the Patriot him- 
self. Happening to meet him at Paris, while 


attaclied to the regiment of Prince Joseph Po- 
niatowsky, he related, among other anecdotes 
connected with the last king of Poland, a con- 
versation which took place soon after his de- 
thronement, in the presence of Count Macro- 
nosko and his father-in-law, Prince Sanguska, 
and on the estate of the latter. Having al- 
luded to the unhappy fate which had befallen 
their common country, and sympathized with 
the sufferings of his master, the indignant Pa- 
triot said; — "But, Sire, had you played your 
cards as you might have done, your Majesty 
would have long since been Emperor of Russia 
as well as King of Poland, in which case the 
forces of one country would have always sup- 
ported your throne in the other." — " That may 
be," replied Stanislaus ; " but I had promised 
Catherine never to marry if she was assured 
of a legitimate heir to the crown of Russia. 
There being soon after no doubt of the Grand- 
duke Paul succeeding to it, I had no idea of 
changing my sentiments on the subject. Be- 
sides, from the capricious character of the Em- 
press, and disposition of those around her, I 
felt convinced that I should soon have shared 
the fate of her first husband ; whereas, by de- 
clining the marriage, I gave no immediate 


cause of jealousy to her courtiers, being so far 
removed from the intrigues and cabals which 
constantly occupied their time." 

Both the Princess Daschkoff and Narishkin 
have often assured me that, notwithstanding the 
persecution experienced by Poniatowsky from 
his mistress and her agents, Catherine never felt 
so much attached to any of her favourites ex- 
cept Lanskoi. There is, however, no doubt but 
that the first named of the above ladies, aided 
by OrlofF, warmly encouraged the elevation of 
Stanislaus, as the only means of destroying his 
growing influence over the Empress. Aware of 
her love of novelty, they knew that it was only 
necessary to remove him from the scene of his 
triumph, in order to fill his place with some 
person who would be less likely to interfere 
with their own views. 

INIadame Narishkin once told me, that hap- 
pening to be closeted with Catherine, soon after 
she had decided the fate of Stanislaus, the Em- 
press dc})lored the necessity of dethroning him 
in the most feeling terms, and even shed tears, 
as if she could not have adopted a different 
line of policy. She at the same time expressed 
a wish that he would soon make some over- 
tures relative to their former intimacy : on ano- 
ther occasion, and when there had been suffi- 


cient time for the expected communications, 
Catherine spoke in a totally different tone, and, 
after reproaching the fallen monarch with his 
indifference and pride, she exclaimed — " Be it 
so ! if he is as headstrong as Essex, he shall find 
me as determined as Elizabeth !" On perceiving 
the effect produced by the silence of Stanislaus, 
and being anxious to meet the wishes of her 
mistress, the Princess Narishkin despatched her 
husband in all haste to Grodno, with a view of 
persuading the dethroned King to propitiate 
the Empress by a more conciliatory line of con- 
duct; but, whether it arose from the resent- 
ment excited by the injuries he had akeady 
experienced, or his want of confidence in Ca- 
therine, Stanislaus could never be persuaded to 
make the smallest concession. It was this dig- 
nified conduct which induced one of his friends 
to say, " that he was a real king when dethroned, 
and a slave vmder a diadem." 

As T have already observed, though his last 
residence at Saint Petersburgh was so short, his 
aimable manners, good humour, and philoso- 
phic resignation to his situation, had endeared 
Stanislaus to all those who approached his person; 
while his humanity and numerous charities ren- 
dered him extremely popular with the public. 
In speaking of the dethroned King, Mr. Gar- 


diner used to say, that he " was grand in his de- 
portment ; handsome and manly in his person ; 
accompUshed and elegant in conversation ; di- 
vested of pride or ostentation ;" adding, " that 
he invariably conducted himself towards indivi- 
duals of every rank with the dignity which 
became a king." 

Stanislaus seldom assumed the Polish cos- 
tume, except to gratify the wishes of some 
favourite lady. I was informed by the Princess 
Radzivill, that on his first entering into society, 
and when thus dressed, he was by far the hand- 
somest man she ever beheld. It was in his 
national dress and fur cap that Sir Hanbury 
Williams first presented Poniatowsky at the 
court of Elizabeth. His fine person and fasci- 
nating manners made such an impression on 
the old Empress, that she immediately offered 
to give him a place at court ; and if the reports 
I heard were true, lie might have aspired to 
still more flattering proofs of regard.* 

* I heard from the Princess Narishkin, that at a mask- 
ed ball given soon after Poniatowsky*s presentation, on 
which occasion lie again appeared in his Polish costnme, the 
Empress said to Sir Hanbury Williams, loud enough to be 
heard by the young stranger, " I should like, above all 
things, to have such a dress as that," pointing to Stanislaus ; 
upon which Poniatowsky went up and replied, " Your Ma- 
jesty's wish shall be instantly gratified." " Then I will re- 



Madame Radzivill,* who seemed to be inti- 
mately acquainted with the private history of 
Stanislaus, assured me, that, had he lived, it 
was his intention to have married a lady named 

tire, and prepare to put on the dress at once," rejoined 
Elizabeth. It was probably expected that Stanislaus should 
have attended to present the suit in person ; instead, how- 
ever, of this, he merely sent it by an attendant, and conti- 
nued to amuse himself in dancing or walking with Cathe- 
rine and the ladies of the court. JMadame Narishkin added, 
that the Empress was so disappointed at Poniatowsky's want 
of gallantry, that she did not make her appearance any more 
during the remainder of the evening, and that the dress was 
returned the next day, as being too large ! 

* This lady was the mother of Prince Radzivill, who mar- 
ried a daughter of Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, and who is 
said to be very nearly related, on the maternal side, to the 
late King of Poland. On the birth of the above Prince, Sta- 
nislaus is said to have signified his joy by conferring a title, 
with the revenue of twelve villages, on the mother, with 
whom he had been on terms of close intimacy for some years 


It is certain that, after the death of Poniatowsky at the 
battle of Leipsic, Napoleon directed his attention to Prince 
Radzivill, as being the most proper person to succeed him, 
in the event of his famous plan with regard to the re-estab- 
lishment of Poland being realized. The motives of Napo- 
leon for this choice, which he imagined would be highly ac- 
ceptable to the Poles, who still venerate the memory of the 
Prince's reputed father, was communicated to several of the 
Patriots in the late French Emperor's visit to Wilna, during 
the disastrous campaign of 1812. 


Sebrosky, by wliom he had ah-eady had several 
children, and that she would have been ac- 
knowledfjed as his wife at the court of Paul. 
Indeed Madame Radzivill one day pointed out 
to me, among the guests who dined at her own 
Palace, a very fine-looking young man, as the 
son of Poniatowsky by the above-named lady. 
I have since heard, on the French army enter- 
ing Poland, a number of his friends made every 
effort to persuade this individual to present 
himself before Napoleon ; but he could not be 
prevailed on to do so, and is, I believe, stiU in 
the Russian service. I understand that, during 
the pleasure of the Emperor Paul, he was al- 
lowed a liberal pension ; for it is among the 
most admirable traits in the character of his re- 
puted father, that though more than thirty 
years a king, with the revenue of a great king- 
dom at his disposal, he arrived at Saint Peters- 
burgh in very straitened circumstances, and 
left no worldly inheritance, save an inconsidera- 
ble quantity of plate and jewels !* 

• One of the biographers of Catherine II. has erroneously 
styled the fatlier of Poniatowsky an adventurer. He cer- 
tainly held a situation in the house of Count IMizielky, but 
he was not the less distinguished in his own country, where 
his talents might have made him a second Napoleon, had he 
Ijeen equally ambitious. Besides his intimacy witli Charles 


In speaking of the humiliations to which 
Stanislaus had been exposed while a monarch, 
Madame Radzivill stated, that during the em- 
bassy of Stackelberg, he has been known to 
enter the theatre when the performance was 
almost concluded, and although the sovereign 
was present, he would order the recommence- 
ment of the piece. Mr. Gardiner being in the 
royal box on one of these occasions, was so 
shocked with the brutal conduct of Stackel- 
berg, that he quitted the house, determined 
never to remain in it again when the Russian 
agent was there. Although the British envoy 
resented this gross outrage, and pointed it out 
to the other ambassadors resident at Warsaw 
as an insult to the whole diplomatic body, it 
does not appear that Stanislaus, or his minis- 
ters, attempted to remonstrate against such 
barbarous conduct. 

The above story of Stackelberg's brutality 
was afterwards fully confirmed to me by Mr. 

XII. of Sweden, the elder Poniatowsky was the confidential 
adviser of the unfortunate Leczinsky. He subsequently be- 
came the friend of Augustus;, who gave him the Princess 
Czartorinski in marriage a proof that he was neither re- 
garded as an adventurer, nor of low extraction. Stanislaus 
was only one of a numerous progeny, to which this marriage 
gave rise. 


Gardiner himself, whom I met at Warsaw 
living as a private gentleman. He spoke in 
terms of the warmest admiration of the unfor- 
tunate Stanislaus, and regretted that he had 
been ever induced to oppose the only party in 
Poland which could have enabled him to de- 
feat the Machiavelian intrigues of the Russian 
court, where the plan of partition and spolia- 
tion alone originated, as neither Austria nor 
Prussia would have dared to move in such a 
nefarious transaction, unless urged on by 
Russia. INIr. Gardiner added his conviction, 
that, if Stanislaus had acted with more decision, 
and openly declared against the interference of 
Catherine, before matters had been carried to 
the last extremity, England and France would 
have made any sacrifice in his favour, since it 
was evidently the interest of those two powers 
to preserve the integrity of the Polish territory 




Arrival at Copenhagen. — Reception by the Crown Prince 
and royal family. — Amusements and society of the Danish 
capital. — Details relative to the persecution of Queen 
Caroline Matilda. — Character of the Queen Dowager 
Juliana Maria. — Marriage of Matilda to the Crown 
Prince. — Attachment of the latter for his wife. — Measures 
taken by Juliana to separate them. — The Crown Prince is 
recommended to travel. — His sudden return to the capi- 
tal. — New machinations of Juliana Maria. — Their effect 
on the health and feelings of the royal couple. — The mind 
of the Crown Prince poisoned against his wife. — He is in- 
duced to sign an order for the arrest of traitors ; the name 
of Matilda is included. — Plan of the Queen Dowager and 
Goldberg to prevent an interview between Matilda and 
her husband. — Trial and condemnation of the Queen and 
her alleged paramour. — She is divorced and banished from 
Denmark. — Cruelty and injustice of the trial. — Extra- 
ordinary policy of George HI. — Statement of Sarti, the 
Composer. — Usurpation of all the power by Juliana and her 
satellites. — Death of Matilda. — Christian VII.— Admir- 
able conduct of the Crown Prince, now Frederick VI. — Ju- 
liana and her accomplices removed from power. — Departure 
for Stockholm. — Singular conversation with an old seaman. 

There are very few events in the domestic 
annals of Europe, which have attracted more 

VOL. I. I 


attention, or excited more sympathy, than 
the treatment experienced by Caroline Ma- 
tilda, Queen of Denmark, and sister to George 
III. The following details, relative to that atro- 
cious persecution, were collected from contem- 
poraries and eye-witnesses of all that occurred, 
during a residence of some months at Copen- 
hagen in the year 1796, while the subject was 
still a frequent topic of conversation in that city. 
Previously to commencing these details, it 
may be necessary to state, that before my visit, 
there had been scarcely any friendly inter- 
course between the courts for many years. 
Having been honoured with letters of intro- 
duction from the late lamented Duchess of 
York, and his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Cambridge, I am induced to believe, from the 
very flattering reception I experienced from 
the Crown Prince, his sister, and indeed all the 
other members of the royal family, that I had 
some share in renewing a correspondence which 
the treatment of the unfortunate Caroline had 
so long interrupted. On the other hand, the ea- 
gerness with which I was interrogated on every 
point connected with tlie British royal family, 
convinced me of the high estimation in which 
all its members were held by that of Denmark, 
as well as their anxiety to cultivate the closest 


friendship and intimacy with the court of Saint 

Soon after my arrival, the Grand-chamber- 
lain, Houch, sent me a general invitation to 
visit all the places of public amusement, as 
well as the royal palaces : I was also favoured 
with the use of a box at the theatre. These 
privileges, together with the various other acts 
of hospitality so peculiar to the Northern courts, 
rendered my stay at Copenhagen truly agree- 
able ; nor, on my arrival, had I any idea of the 
taste and elegance which prevailed in the va- 
rious societies of the Danish capital, to which 
I had the honour of being invited. Though 
necessarily on a smaller scale than those of Ber- 
lin and Saint Petersburgh, the balls, concerts, 
and masquerades given by the Crown Prince 
and his royal sister, were conducted in a very 
splendid style and numerously attended. Both 
Sabieno and Sarti, two of the most celebrated 
composers of the day, had resided at this court. 
The last named, whom I afterwards met in 
the Russian capital, had been the instructor of 
Queen Matilda, and would probably have been 
sacrificed to the implacable vengeance of Maria 
Juliana, had he not been apprised of the danger 
and made his escape. 

Of all the domestic calamities which can befall 

1 2 


a court or a nation, it would be difficult to 
name any so great, as that of an intriguing and 
ambitious princess, whose ruling passion is to- 
tally unchecked by virtue, and, if entrusted 
with power, does not hesitate to commit the 
greatest crimes, when they are likely to pro- 
mote the objects of her wishes. Such a wo- 
man was Juliana Maria, the late Queen Dow- 
ager of Denmark, who, like her prototype, 
Catherine de Medicis, never seemed happy ex- 
cept while occupied in destroying the peace 
and happiness of others, more especially the 
members of her own family. 

Juliana was a princess of the house of Bruns- 
wick, a family with which the sovereigns of 
Denmark had been long in the habit of form- 
ing matrimonial alliances before her marriage 
to the King, Frederick V. Scarcely had she 
given birth to her first child, the crook-backed 
Richard of the North, as he was styled from 
his deformity, when she resorted to the most 
diabolical means, in order to ruin the Crown 
Prince in the estimation of the King his father. 
Unable to alienate the affections of a parent 
from a son, who was the hope of his country, 
she surrounded the young Prince with the 
most abandoned and dissipated individuals, 
who led him into every vice, and, owing to his 


inexperience, succeeded but too well in cor- 
rupting his morals and undermining his health. 
— It was in that state he first saw the Princess 
Caroline Matilda of England, who was, on her 
arrival in Denmark, young, handsome, sprightly 
and accomplished, possessing all those amiable 
qualities which were calculated to win the heart 
of her intended husband ; and from the sudden 
change produced in the manners and habits of 
the Crown Prince after their marriage, there is 
no doubt but that the union would have been 
blessed with happiness, had not the machina- 
tions of Juliana frustrated this hope, and ren- 
dered the future life of both one continued 
scene of sufi^ering and sorrow. 

Aware, therefore, of the consequences which 
must result from allowing the young couple to 
remain together, the Queen-dowager and her 
emissaries determined to bring about a tempo- 
rary separation, as the only means of carrying 
their final plan into effect. To accomplish this 
object, the court physician was bribed by Ju- 
liana to advise the king to travel for the benefit 
of his health, which she herself had used every 
art to destroy ; and his departure was hastened, 
when she heard, contrary to her hopes, that the 
Queen had become pregnant. This event, so 
gratifying to the nation, as might well be ex- 


pected, filled Juliana with rage and disappoint- 
ment, more especially as she had fully cal- 
culated, that the excesses into which the mo- 
narch liad been formerly led by her directions, 
would have effectually removed the possibility 
of his becoming a father ! 

The appalling prospect of an heir to the 
throne determined Juliana to change her sys- 
tem, and she accordingly began to take mea- 
sures for depreciating and blackening the cha- 
racter of the young Queen, in the hope that 
matters would be sufficiently matured on his 
return to bring forward charges, which, if not 
substantiated, might at least create an irrecon- 
cileable breach between them. It occurred to 
her, on the other hand, that, if unsuccessful in 
this new project, and the expected child proved 
a boy, the King might be easily put out of the 
way, in which case she coidd take advantage 
of Matilda's youth, and get herself declared 
Regent, as being the elder branch of the royal 
family, and jointly with her own son. Those 
who knew the character of Juliana, assured me 
that the above project, had it been successful, 
was closely connected with another, — that of 
hatching up a plot by which the minor should 
be excluded from the throne on some plea of 


ineligibility, to be invented by the Queen- 
dowager herself. 

All these plans were, however, interrupted 
by the sudden return of the King from his 
travels, when he found Matilda greatly im- 
proved in mind and person, while the attach- 
ment of the people towards himself and the 
Queen was greatly increased by the birth of 
a son during his absence. The young couple 
continued to live on terms of the utmost har- 
mony, when the birth of a Princess* greatly 
added to their popularity, and rendered them 
still more dear to each other. It is scarcely ne- 
cessary to say, that this state of things was 
inexpressibly galling to the Queen-dowager, 
who had never for a moment relinquished her 
dreams of ambition or hopes of success. Hav- 
ing failed in producing the effect she had anti- 
cipated on the mind of the King, who became 
daily more attached to his wife, Juliana deter- 
mined to try whether she could not excite the 
jealousy and resentment of Caroline Matilda, 
by recounting all the early amours and excesses 

* This was the beautiful Louisa Augusta, now Duchess 
of Augustenburg, mother to the wife of the Crown Prince, 
and who visited England some time ago in company with her 


of her husband, mstigated by Juliana herself, 
to which more recent acts of infidelity were of 
course added. While this plan was pursued 
with regard to Matilda, similar calumnies were 
industriously communicated to the King. 
Every effort being thus made to create jea- 
lousy and disgust between the Crown Prince 
and his wife, the Queen -dowager took care to 
surround both with emissaries, who were in- 
structed to poison their minds against each 
other, and, if possible, persuade them that re- 
taliation was perfectly justifiable in such cases ! 
Such were the arts by which Juliana Maria 
hoped to effect her nefarious designs, and, as 
the sequel unhappily proved, they were but 
too successful ; for while the unsuspecting INIa- 
tilda imagined that the insinuations relative 
to the conduct of her husband proceeded from 
pure friendship, and that Juliana's apparent 
commiseration was merely the effect of sym- 
pathy, the efforts used to poison the King's 
mind were not less calculated to excite suspi- 
cion, which it only required a little additional 
fanning to swell into that violent flame of 
jealousy that ultimately deprived him of reason, 
and drove his Queen into exile. In thus call- 
ing the most powerful passions of the human 
heart into action, Juliana was aware that the 


feelings of the young King and Queen would 
be acute in proportion to their natural suscep- 
tibility, and the warmth of attachment for each 
other ; so that, Avhile the former became a prey 
to melancholy and grief, the King's health and 
spirits were soon affected to such a degree, that 
Juliana already began to calculate either on his 
falling a victim to his wounded feelings, or 
such an alienation of mind, as would afford an 
opening for carrying her ultimate designs into 
speedy execution. 

Various circumstances rendered it necessary 
for Juliana to hasten the cUnouemefit of her in- 
fernal drama. The growing popularity of the 
Queen might soon excite a party in her favour 
that would for ever destroy the hopes of her 
enemies, and even involve the Queen-dowager in 
destruction, while it was of infinite importance 
to make use of the King's authority in bringing 
about the disgrace of Caroline Matilda. Pur- 
suant to these notions, fresh plans were adopted, 
and new calumnies invented, until the mind of 
the King was worked up to such a pitch of jea- 
lousy and indignation, that he seemed prepared 
to adopt any measure that should be proposed. 
Availing themselves of this propitious moment, 
Juliana Maria and her confidential agent, the 
minister Goldberg, having made out a list 


of those whom they intended to proscribe, and 
drawn up an act of accusation, seized the first 
favourable opportunity to induce his Majesty, 
who had already betrayed frequent symptoms 
of derangement, solely caused by the doubts 
which had been raised in his mind as to the 
conduct of the Queen, to sign a general order 
for the arrest of all persons suspected of trea- 
sonable practices against the State. Once in 
possession of this document, no time was lost 
in commencing the work of proscription. A 
list of the intended victims had been akeady 
prepared, though never presented to the King. 
One of these, which was intended to accompany 
the warrant of arrest, in addition to the names 
of Brandt, the Court Physician, and the JNIinister 
Struensee, contained that of the Queen ! 

The mode adopted for carrying the first act 
meditated against Caroline Matilda into effect, 
was aggravated by all the cruelty and barbarity 
which persecution could devise. The order 
for arrest had been confided to Count de Shack, 
a creature of the Queen-dowager, and carried 
into execution in the dead of night, to prevent 
the consequences which might have attended 
such an outrage in open day. The minister of 
vengeance, accompanied by a party of soldiers, 
entered the apartments of Matilda's female atten- 


dants, and told them that they must immedi- 
ately awake the Queen, as he had a communi- 
cation to make from his JNIajesty : on their show- 
ing some hesitation, and alleging that their 
mistress had retired very much fatigued, for she 
had been at a party that very night, where Juli- 
ana was also present, and familiarly conversing 
with her, — the Count rushed forward, forced the 
door, and, on entering the royal chamber, saw 
Matilda lying in bed, with the young Princess 
Louisa lying in her arms. This did not, how- 
ever, prevent him from signifying to the affright- 
ed Queen, that she was his prisoner, and instantly 
ordering his myrmidons to seize her as guilty 
of high treason, in having had an adulterous 
intercourse with Brandt and Struensee. On 
the Queen's remonstrating against this unex- 
pected outrage on her honour, and loudly pro- 
testing her innocence of the charge. Shack 
said, — " It is useless, INIadam, to deny the 
fact, as Struensee has not only confessed his 
crime with regard to your Majesty, but also 
asserted that you are engaged in a conspiracy 
against the life of the King !" — " That is im- 
possible, Count Shack," replied Matilda : " I 
know that Struensee is too loyal towards his 
master, and jealous of my honour, to confess 
a falsehood so glaring." — " But Struensee will 


forfeit his life, JNIadam,'' rejoined the Count, 
" if you persist in refusing the King's autho- 
rity." The unfortunate Queen had by this 
time fallen into the arms of one of her attend- 
ants quite senseless ; and, on recovering, she 
said to Shack, — " If I confess myself the cause 
of his misfortune, will that save the life of 
Struensee ?" " Undoubtedly, Madam," was 
the reply. " Then draw up a paper to this 
effect," rejoined the Queen, " and I will take 
the whole charge on myself, conscious that I 
shall be able to confound my enemies by fully 
proving my innocence before the King and 
the nation." Shack, who came prepared with 
the necessary document, drew it from his 
pocket and presented it to Matilda, who could 
scarcely sustain herself while she looked over 
its horrid contents ; and it was in a state bor- 
dering on mental derangement, produced by 
the perusal, that Shack, faithful to his orders, 
took the hand of the Queen and guided it in 
signing the fatal instrument ; upon which the 
mock tribunal, summoned to try the accused, 
founded the legality of Matilda's divorce, and 
sent tl)e alleged traitors to a scaffold. It will 
scarcely be credited, that the whole of these 
cruel sentences were decided on and pro- 
nounced, without the Queen being either in- 


terrogated personally or heard by counsel ; so 
that her signature, obtained in a moment of 
terror and mental distraction, was not only 
considered as sufficient to condemn herself, 
but operated as incontestable evidence against 
the lives she wished to save. The only cir- 
cumstance, from which the guilt of Struensee 
could be inferred, was that of his cloak being 
found in the Queen's apartment, and which 
had been lent to Matilda on the eveninsr of 
her arrest, in order to be thrown over her 
masquerade dress. With respect to Brandt, the 
physician and friend of Struensee, the Queen 
dowager knew that, unless implicated with the 
other victims, he was, from his influence and 
character, in a situation to expose the whole 
of her machinations, and turn them agfainst 
her own guilty head. This is said to have been 
her principal motive for sacrificing Brandt. 
^No sooner had the unhappy Matilda's hand 
been affixed to the document produced by 
Shack, than she was hurried off to the Castle 
of Cronenberg, on the coast of Denmark, 
some leagues from the capital. Not a soul 
except those who were concerned in the arrest 
knew any thing of it till next day ; even the 
King himself was kept in total ignorance of 
the proceedings till he was called upon to sign 


the act of accusation and order for lier trial, as 
well as that of the other victims. I was cre- 
dibly informed, that, before he could be pre- 
vailed on to give his sanction to the foul per- 
secution which had been thus so nefariously 
commenced, the vmfortunate monarch expressed 
his conviction .that the Queen was innocent, 
and declared his determination to have a per- 
sonal interview, and interrogate her on every 
point, previous to sanctioning the proceedings. 
Having, accordingly, given orders to his at- 
tendants to prepare for the intended journey, 
the effect of this determination on the mind 
of Juliana JNlaria and her accomplices may be 
readily imagined : they were aware of the 
Queen's innocence, and knew how easy it 
would be to convince her husband, if they were 
permitted to meet ; they therefore trembled for 
the consequences, and resolved at all hazards to 
prevent the interview. The stratagem em- 
ployed for this purpose was quite worthy of 
the actors in this atrocious drama. AVhile 
Juliana assented, with the greatest apparent 
deference, to the wishes of the King, Goldberg 
was sent off post haste to Cronenberg, for the 
purpose of immediately transferring Matilda to 
another prison, while all those who kept houses 
on the road ^vere arrested ; so that on reaching 


the first stage, the monarch found it impossible 
to proceed, and was persuaded to return by his 
attendants, who represented that there might 
be still greater inconvenience, if not positive 
danger, in going any farther. 

The above circumstance proved to the ene- 
mies of Matilda, that there was no time to be 
lost ; new efforts were therefore made to over- 
come the scruples of the King ; and no sooner 
had his consent been given, or rather extorted, 
than the trial was concluded with the greatest 
precipitation. In a process where all the forms 
of equity and justice were set at defiance, there 
could be no difficulty in obtaining whatever 
sentence the persecuting party thought proper 
to suggest. Thus it was, that while Brandt 
and Struensee were condemned to lose their 
heads, the judges of this mock tribunal con- 
tented themselves with divorcing the unhappy 
JNIatilda, and banishing her for ever from the 

The only motive Juliana Maria had for not 
attempting to bastardize the children of Ma- 
tilda, is said to have originated in her being 
apprised, that such a step would rouse the 
people, and lead to a discovery of the persecu- 
tion. She may have also been deterred from a 
fear of the result in England, where, notwith- 


Standing the passive manner in which the treat- 
ment of Matilda was regarded at court, the 
sympathy of the public was loudly expressed 
in her favour. 

It is said that his late INIajesty had, on this 
melancholy occasion, sacrificed his fraternal 
feelings to motives of state policy, and pre- 
vented the return of his royal sister to Eng- 
land, lest her presence, for she was still young 
and fascinating, might have excited the indig- 
nation of a people who have ever been remark- 
able for their readiness to come forward in 
support of oppressed innocence, more especially 
when the object is a woman ! Whatever may 
have led to a line of policy which must ever be 
regarded as most extraordinary, under all the 
circumstances of the case, it is certain that the 
only boon poor Queen Matilda could obtain, 
was the permission to reside at Zell, a town 
which belonged to her brother's Hanoverian 

It may not be irrelevant to observe, that 
every thing connected with the persecution of 
Queen Matilda, which I heard at Copenhagen, 
was fully confirmed to me by Sarti the com- 
poser, whom I met in the following year at 
Saint Petersburgh. After having recounted 
all the foregoing facts, he added, that the cir- 


cumstance of Juliana Maria's attempt to impli- 
cate him in the affair, not less than the course 
of his own observations, convinced him that all 
the charges, whether relating to his royal pupil 
or the other victims, were entirely groundless, 
and invented for the sole purpose of gratifying 
the vindictive passions and insatiable ambition 
of the Queen-dowager. Previous to his being 
named as one of the alleged conspirators, 
Sarti told me that he had been frequently tam- 
pered with by Juliana and Goldberg, as to the 
Queen's conduct ; and that from their general 
mode of interrogation, he saw that it was mere- 
ly necessary to meet their wishes in criminating 
her Majesty, in order to escape all farther mo- 
lestation, if not to be handsomely rewarded. 
But so far from admitting that he ever ob- 
served the smallest irregularity, he invariably 
maintained that nothing could be more deco- 
rous or correct than the conduct of his royal 
mistress, who, he said, had always treated 
him with the greatest kindness and generosity. 
It is scarcely necessary to add, that the same 
system of subornation and perjury, from which 
scarcely any state-persecution recorded in his- 
tory is exempt, was resorted to throughout the 
proceedings against Queen Matilda and the un- 
fortunate individuals who were proscribed by 

VOL. I. K 


Juliana Maria. Nor need it be matter of sur- 
prise, if tliose who lent themselves to her ma- 
chinations met witli the usual reward of perfi- 
dy. Some were requited with secret assassina- 
tion, while others fled to avoid a similar fate, 
and many went into voluntary exile until the 
first authors of the villany had ceased to exist. 
Whenever the Queen-dowager and her princi- 
pal accomplice, Goldberg, found any difficulty 
in getting rid of a troublesome satellite, it was 
easy to make a fictitious charge, upon which 
they could be arraigned and transferred to the 
gallies, or some distant colony. 

With respect to the fate of poor Queen Ma- 
tilda, she had not been long at the scene of 
exile, before her affable manners and numerous 
charities endeared her to the whole country. 
It would appear from various reports circu- 
lated at the time, as well as what I heard dur- 
ing my visit to the Danish capital, that the 
spirit of persecution which caused her fall did 
not cease on her departure from Cronenberg; 
and there were many who entertained a belief 
that Juliana Maria was not unacquainted with 
the causes of her premature death, while others 
fully accused her of having contributed to it 
by the foulest means. This event, which took 
placo wliile tlie unfortunate Queen was still in 


the prime of life, was deeply lamented by all 
those who had the honour of approaching her 
while at Zell, and more especially by the indi- 
gent and helpless, to whom she had been a 
steady and munificent benefactress. 

The exile of Caroline Matilda, and execution 
of Brandt and Struensee, having removed the 
obstacles which had hitherto impeded the 
wishes of the Queen-dowager, she lost no time 
in usurping all the authority of the state, tak- 
ing care to exclude her son-in-law from all 
share in the administration, and, as may be 
imagined, ruling with an iron and despotic 
hand, till the Crown Prince became of age, and 
was enabled to assert his rights. 

I was told by persons who had been eye- 
witnesses to the events of this period, that 
when Juliana first seized the reins of power, 
while they were yet nominally in the hands of the 
late King, she would, for form's sake, sometimes 
send a portion of the decrees and other public 
documents to him for the sign manual ; and 
that on one of these occasions, his signature 
was given as follows : — " Christian VII. by 
the grace of God, King of Denmark, &c. in 
company with Juliana Maria and others, by 
the grace of the Devil /" Goldberg, w ho pre- 
sented these papers, having remonstrated on 

K 2 


the impossibility of issuing them in this state, 
and requested that his JNlajesty would adopt 
the usual method, the enraged INIonarch re- 
plied, " Nothing but the devil could have 
formed her ; and I tell you, whom I look upon 
as one of his imps, that I wish the world to 
know from whence she derives her authority ; 
I shall therefore make no alteration whatever." 
It is needless to add, that his Majesty's sig- 
nature was dispensed with ever after. 

Although incapable of governing when I 
visited Copenhagen, Christian VII. had fre- 
quent lucid intervals, and even held courts 
occasionally ; for the Crown Prince, who was 
then Regent, paid every attention which filial 
affection could dictate, to the wants and wishes 
of his parent. I had the honour of being pre- 
sent at one of these levees, and was much struck 
by the venerable appearance of the monarch, 
as well as the marked homage and respect with 
which he was treated by the whole court. The 
return of his malady evinced itself in a singu- 
lar manner. While in the midst of the most 
cheerful conversation, and when quite collected, 
he would suddenly run across the apartment 
and salute the first person he met with a vio- 
lent slap on the face, so that it was necessary 
for the courtiers and ministers, for he made no 


distinction of rank or person, to be constantly 
on their guard. 

Notwithstanding the crimes of Juliana Ma- 
ria and her continued persecution of himself 
and his sister the Princess Louisa, nothing 
could exceed the moderation and forbearance 
with which the Crown Prince treated her, even 
after his assuming the reins of government. 
Both the Queen-dowager and her favourite 
Goldberg had totally mistaken the character of 
the young Prince ; for while they considered 
him, from the apparently circumscribed state 
of his intellect, as totally unfit to govern, he 
was, from a very early age, deeply impressed 
with a sense of their iniquitous conduct, and 
did not lose a moment, on coming of age, in 
taking such steps as should for ever exclude 
them from any farther share in the govern- 

As one of the first measures of the Crown 
Prince was a decree to exclude the Queen- 
dowager, and all her creatures, from power, 
it appeared so unexpectedly, and while she 
had no conception of what was preparing, that 
she attempted to resist the Prince's orders ; nor 
was it until a demonstration of military inter- 
ference was made, that Juliana would recog- 
nise the new authority. When once stripped 


of iier usurped and ill-gotten influence, she 
could hardly persuade herself, that the person 
who an hour before held the power of life and 
death in her hands, and made thousands trem- 
ble, could, in her turn, be thus suddenly re- 
duced to the condition of a private individual. 
The removal of the detestable cabal, formed by 
this woman, and which had exercised an iron 
sway over Denmark for so many years, was 
followed by several other salutary measures, 
which equally proved how mifch Juliana and 
her accomplices had mistaken the character of 
the Crown Prince. Besides a general amnesty 
in favour of those who had been objects of per- 
secution since the exile of his mother, and an 
act of oblivion with regard to political opinions, 
whether they regarded his own person or the 
state, Count Bernsdorff, one of the most dis- 
tinguished victims of the Queen-dowager's re- 
sentment, justly celebrated for his patriotism, 
was recalled, and reinstated in all his honours. 
Such was the nature of the measures which 
first distinguished the early administration of 
the Crown Prince's power, and a continuance 
of which has justly endeared him to all classes 
of his subjects as Frederick VI.* 

* Frederick succeeded to the throne of Denmark on the 
death of his father Christian VII. which took place in 


Though excluded from power, Juliana Maria, 
and even her favourite Goldberg, were allowed 
to remain quietly in the capital. Unable how- 
ever to bear the pang attendant on her fall 
from power, or the disappointment of her cri- 
minal hopes, perhaps some remorse for her 
crimes, and, above all, the detestation of the 
public, of which she could not entertain any 
doubt, induced this abhorred character to quit 
Copenhagen, and take up her abode in a dis- 
tant province, where the remainder of her days 
were passed in such bitter reflections as never 
fail to attend the victims of ambition and 
abettors of crime. 

I have omitted to state, that when Frederick 
V. brother to the present king, married Juliana 
Maria, he had been left a ^widower by his first 
wife, an admirable princess, daughter of George 
II. by whom he had three children — the 
Crown Prince, afterwards Christian VI., and 
two Princesses, one of whom* was married to 
the late unfortunate Gustavus III. of Sweden, 
and the other to the Landgrave of Hesse Cas- 

* This was the mother of the scarcely less fortunate Gusta- 
vus, whose opposition to Napoleon led to his dethronement, to 
give place to Bernadotte, and whose eccentricities^ under the 
assumed title of Count Gottorp, are well known to the Eu- 
ropean public. 


sel, SO famous for supplying mercenaries to all 
the sovereigns of Europe, as well as the United 
States of North America. 

On my leaving Copenhagen for Stockholm, 
I was accompanied by the two Dutch envoys, 
Huygens and Duden, who were going to com- 
pliment the young King Gustavus Adolphus, 
on his marriage to the Princess Frederica of 
Baden Durlach ; having been also furnished 
with letters of introduction to the Princess So- 
phia Albertina, aunt to the King, from her 
Royal Highness the Duchess of York, who 
had been co-abbess of Gutemberg with her 
highness. On our arrival at Elsineur, we hired 
two boats, one for the conveyance of our car- 
riages, servants, and luggage, and the other for 
ourselves. AYe had scarcely set sail from Hel- 
senburg, on tlie opposite coast of the Sound, 
the usual landing-place in Sweden, when one 
of the sailors, hearing us converse in the Eng- 
lish language, thus addressed us with all tlie 
frankness of his profession: — "There," said he, 
pointing to the castle of Cronenberg, which 
was distinctly seen as we cleared the port, " is 
the fortress in which tlie unfortunate and per- 
secuted Queen INIatilda was shut up by tliat 
infernal old beldame Juliana Maria. I hope 
she is now in a ])lacc where all the water in 


this world cannot quench the fire which sur- 
rounds the execrable old wretch ! Poor Queen 
Matilda ! God rest her soul ! she educated three 
of my sons, and one of my daughters, for 
whom she had the condescension to become 
godmother, and who died of grief when her 
benefactress was exiled. I have since that 
time," continued the old man, "entered the 
Swedish service, determined never to set a foot 
in a land which I detest ; since it has been so 
cruel and unjust towards the poor departed 
Queen, who was condemned on the false evi- 
dence of individuals under the horrors of the 
rack, because they were persuaded that if they 
criminated her Majesty, their own lives would 
be saved ! Poor Brandt ! poor Struensee ! they 
little thought that while compelled to accuse 
their generous Queen, they were only sealing 
their own destruction ! I never think of those 
dreadful times with a dry eye, though it is now 
near thirty years since that horrid transaction 
degraded and disgraced the national character 
of the Danes." And indeed there was no hy- 
pocrisy in the old seaman's recital, for the tears 
ran copiously down his furrowed clieeks while 
he thus artlessly gave vent to his feelings. 

On reaching Helsenburg we made a point of 
inquiring relative to the old man's story, and 


found that there was every reason to believe in 
its veracity ; as the officers of the customs were 
perfectly acquainted with the circumstances 
which led to his entering the service of Sweden, 
and spoke iiighly of his character. They add- 
ed, that though so frequently at Elsincur, he 
was never known to land, but always remained 
in his boat, firmly resolved not to break through 
his resolution. On taking our leave of this 
honest son of Neptune, to whom each of the 
party gave some token of remembrance, we 
could not help contrasting his fidelity and gra- 
titude with the conduct of those who have 
much greater reason to exercise these virtues ; 
or asking each other, how many of those who 
revel in the sunshine of royal favour would 
evince such sincere and heartfelt sympathy for 
fallen Majesty ! 




Journey from Helsenburg to Stockholm. — Face of the country. 
— Arrival in the Swedish capital. — Count Erval Fersen. — 
Drottingholm and review. — Gustavus III. — The Princess 
Sophia Albertina. — • Court drawing-room. — Introduction 
to the Princess Frederica of Baden. — Her Highness' Dame 
d'Honneur. — Royal marriage, and splendid banquet at the 
Vicks Saal. — Ludicrous incident. — The Takel Tanse. — 
Magnificent representation of the celebrated drama of 
" Gustavus Vasa." 

The road from Helsenburg to Stockholm, 
though kept in very good order, generally runs 
through desolate tracts, displaying few signs of 
cultivation, and is very thinly inhabited. In- 
deed the whole country exhibited a striking and 
melancholy contrast to the smiling landscapes 
and variegated scenery of France and Italy, to 
which I had been hitherto accustomed. The 
accommodations at this period were not more in- 
viting than the aspect of nature; and had it not 


been tliat my travelling companions had taken 
the precaution to provide a stock of provisions, 
together with some excellent wine, we should 
have frequently gone without our dinner. As 
it was, we were on one occasion obliged to sleep 
in our carriages, there being no beds at the 
wretched post-house where we halted for the 
night. It should, however, be observed, to the 
credit of the Government, that nothing can ex- 
ceed the security enjoyed by travellers in Savc- 
den,* it being exceedingly rare to hear of high- 
way robberies ; while the people of every class 
are remarkable for their kindness and urbanity 
to strangers. 

Stockholm, composed as it is of various small 
islands, and surrounded by the Gulf of Bothnia 
and the Baltic, presents some of the most de- 
lightful natural views ever seen. Owing to the 
nvmiber of visitors who had come from all parts 
of the kingdom to witness and partake of the 
festivities which were preparing for the ap- 

• Nothing can be better regulated than posting in Sweden , 
while the expense is incredibly moderate, when compared 
with the same mode of travelling in other countries. No 
postilion is allowed to depart without having his name and 
the hour of setting out registered in a book kept for the pur- 
pose. The distance, which is limited, except in cases of ne- 
cessity, must be performed within a given time, and com- 
plaints of travellers are always treated with immediate at- 


preaching royal nuptials, we had considerable 
difficulty in finding apartments at any of the 
hotels. Having, however, at length succeeded, 
my first care after the repose rendered necessary 
after such a fatiguing journey was to send a 
note to my old and particular friend. Count 
Erval Fersen, upon whose good offices I had 
fully calculated previous to my arrival. Nor 
was I mistaken, as he answered the note in per- 
son, and not only made an unlimited offer of 
his services, but acted with the most marked 
politeness towards the two envoys, to 
whom I introduced him as having shown me 
so many attentions during the whole of our 

Under any circumstances, it would have been 
a great advantage to meet such a guide as the 
Count,* but it was rendered doubly valuable 
now, from his not holding any official situation, 
while his credit at court, and the manner in 
which he was looked up to by his countrymen, 
afforded the utmost facility for my seeing what- 
ever was worthy of examination, under his aus- 
pices. Having insisted on our dining with him 
the day after our arrival, he conducted us after 
the repast to an evening party at the house of 

* I shall have occasion to speak more at length of this 
distinguished character in a future chapter. 


a friend, where I had the pleasure of meeting 
several near relatives of the late Count d'Arm- 
feldt, with whom I had been acquainted at 
Florence and Naples. Before taking leave of 
our kind host, he invited us to accompany him 
to a review of the Royal Guards, which was 
to take place the following day at the palace 
of Drottingholm. 

This edifice, by far the most sumptuous in 
Sweden, and modelled exactly on that of Ver- 
sailles, is built in a very fine situation, within a 
short distance of the capital. We reached it in 
time to visit the apartments, which are on a 
magnificent scale. They were now preparing 
for the reception of the young Queen, as it was 
arranged that the royal couple should take up 
their abode here immediately after the nuptials. 
Having, througli the interest of our conductor, 
obtained a seat in one of the balconies of the 
grand saloon, we had an excellent sight of the 
review, and were much struck by the fine order 
in which the troops, principally cavalry, ap- 
peared, both as to dress, and the performance of 
their various evolutions. These were directed 
by the King in person. Gustavus had just at- 
tained his majority, and seemed to be very po- 
pular with the army. He wore the uniform of 
a field-marshal, was profusely decorated with 


orders ; and, mounted on a superb white charger, 
displayed great activity in superintending the 
various manoeuvres. Having remained to vs^it- 
ness the last of these, we returned to Stockholm, 
and passed the remainder of the evening at our 
hotel, where the Count favoured us with his 
company at dinner. 

My next visit was paid to the Princess 
Sophia Albertina, to whom I had forwarded 
my letters of introduction the day after our 
arrival. Her Highness sent one of her attend- 
ants soon after, to inform me that she would 
be glad to see me when 1 had sufficiently reco- 
vered from the fatigues of travelling. She re- 
ceived me with the greatest affability, and after 
inquiring very affectionately respecting the 
Duchess of York, as well as all the other mem- 
bers of the British Royal Family, her Highness 
expressed a hope that I intended to go to the 
levee, or rather court drawing-room, on the fol- 
lowing day, when she would feel much plea- 
sure in presenting me to the Queen Mother, 
who was to preside. On my informing her 
that I had met an old and intimate friend in 
Count Erval Fersen, her Highness paid some 
flattering compliments to the high character of 
that nobleman, adding, that I could not be in 
better hands. 


There was a brilliant assemblage at court 
next day, the drawing-room being held for the 
purpose of introducing the young Queen Frede- 
rica to her future subjects. On being present- 
ed to the Queen Mother, her Majesty welcom- 
ed me to Stockholm, and invited me to remain 
for the purpose of witnessing the ensuing fetes, 
as she would take care that cards should be 
sent to me by the Grand-chamberlain. Hav- 
ing expressed my sense of gratitude for this 
gracious mark of attention, I added, that it 
would afford me the utmost satisfaction to avail 
myself of her JNIajesty's condescending and po- 
lite invitation. 

Being desirous of paying my respects to the 
Princess Frederica in her own apartments, I 
found no difficulty in gratifying this wish, 
through the influence of Count Fersen, who 
was not only well known to the Princess her- 
self, but the confidential friend of her father, 
the Grand-duke of Baden, to whom he had 
been frequently sent on missions during the 
life of the late King, her great friend and 
patron. Kti(iuette requiring that we should 
first see the dame cVhonneur^ who had ac- 
companied the Princess from Baden, we were 
ushered into her apartment, which, to my 
great astonishment, consisted of an entresol^ 


miserably furnished with Httle more than a 
small bed without curtains, two or three chairs, 
and a deal table. It soon appeared, that her 
Excellency was far from being pleased with her 
accommodations, for the Count had scarcely 
time to introduce me, when she began to 
inveigh bitterly against the arrangements by 
which such a wretched place was allotted to a 
person of her high rank. From her own trou- 
bles she digressed to those which could not fail 
to attend her dear mistress, when left to herself 
in a country where there seemed to be neither 
sufficient attention to the comforts of life, nor 
adequate means of creating them. The good 
Count, who evidently felt the justice of these 
remarks, as applied to herself, sympathized 
warmly in the great lady's sufferings, and, after 
expressing his conviction that the inconveni- 
ence she now suffered would be merely tempo- 
rary, and only until a better suite of rooms 
could be prepared, took the liberty of remind- 
ing her of the object of our visit. This well- 
timed hint put an end to the recapitulation of 
grievances, and we were immediately ushered 
into the presence-chamber, where we found the 
young Queen, in an elegant undress, looking 
infinitely more beautiful than she had done the 
day before, when adorned with all the orna- 

VOL. I. L 


ments of her court-dress. She received us most 
graciously, and after the ceremony of kissing 
hands was over, her INIajesty, entering very 
freely into conversation, spoke of the coming 
fetes and the various preparations that were 
making, with great sprightliness ; inquii'ed 
whether I intended to prolong my stay at 
Stockholm ; and, after conversing with the 
Count on some matters connected with her fa- 
ther, the Grand-duke, as well as other members 
of the family, about whom she made inquiries, 
we retired, highly gratified with our reception, 
and fully convinced that the accounts which 
had been circulated of the amiable Princess, 
whether relating to the charms of her mind or 
person, were by no means exaggerated. 

On reaching the hotel I found a card of 
invitation from the First Chamberlain, Baron 
Edelcrantz, for the banquet to be given next 
day, in honour of the royal nuptials ; so that 
the remainder of the evening was devoted to 
preparing my dress, and making arrangements 
as to the best mode of witnessing the ceremo- 
nies of the following morning. 

The procession from the Palace to the Ca- 
thedral was an imposing and magnificent spec- 
tacle. The celebration of the marriage was 
followed by chanting Te JDenm; after which 


the whole procession returned to the palace in 
the same order. A general illumination took 
place in the evening, while a great number of 
the nobility and gentry were invited to the 
Ric]£s Saal, or Senate House, containing one 
of the largest saloons in Europe. This was 
laid out with three long tables, and prepared 
for the reception of five hundred guests. They 
sat down at five o'clock, and consisted of the 
grand dignitaries of church and state, minis- 
ters, foreign ambassadors, naval and military 
officers, together with the most distinguished 
members of the nobility and gentry of the 
kingdom. At the head of the centre table a 
rich state canopy, with hangings of crimson 
velvet, and decorated with all the insignia of 
royalty, was prepared for the King and Queen, 
the remainder of the royal family being placed 
on each sidej according to their rank in senio- 
rity. All the foreign envoys, including some 
of the ministers, dignitaries, and their wives, 
were also at this table. The royal couple, re- 
splendent with diamonds, and surrounded on 
every side by an infinite variety of dresses, all 
remarkable for their richness and magnificence; 
while a numerous band of music at the lower 
end of the saloon, which was brilliantly lighted, 
continued to play during the whole repast, the 

L 2 


whole forming by far the most striking sight I 
ever beheld. 

Previously to the commencement of dancing, 
a concert of vocal and instrumental music* was 
performed under the direction of the Abb^ 

* Among northern musical instruments, perhaps the most 
curious is the Russian horn ; the Russians call it cor or 
corne. Its shape resembles that of a German tobacco-pipe, 
and it varies in size from a moderate one to three or four 
feet. Each instrument is capable of one intonation only, 
which is either a tone or semi -tone. 

This instrument is generally played by Russian peasants, 
who are for the most part slaves. I have heard them per- 
form thirty notes in a bar, in proper time. One of the band 
professes to beat time, but in such a manner as would con- 
found any well-educated musician. 

Most of the Russian nobility have one of these bands, 
which generally play during dinner-time in an adjoining 
saloon. When I first visited St. Petersburgh, many a meal 
have I lost for the gratification of my curiosity. 

There is much singularity of natural talent attached to 
the character of the Russian peasants. They are purchased 
with the land, and are totally ignorant of every thing ex- 
cept the herds they feed. The proprietor, after leaving a 
certain number of them for the cultivation of the soil, sets 
aside the rest, rough and uncouth as they are, to be in- 
structed in the several arts and sciences ; and those of both 
sexes become, in a very short time, excellent in their dif- 
ferent vocations. In other nations, this excellence is com- 
monly held to be the result of genius : in Russia, it chiefly 
owes its existence to the knout. 


Vogler, composer to the Court, and several of 
his pieces were played on this occasion. I 
was much pleased. Here, as at the banquet, I 
was also indebted to the exertions of Count 
Fersen for an excellent seat ; but a circum- 
stance occurred, which made me regret its being 
so conspicuous. Although the robe I wore was 
in perfect conformity to the Swedish costume, 
I had inadvertently placed a profusion of 
ostrich feathers in my hat, this being the latest 
and most fashionable mode at London and Paris, 
without knowing, that though not absolutely 
prohibited, feathers were, by a well understood 
etiquette, never worn at court. On removing 
into the ball-room, where the celebrated Tackel 
Tance was about to be performed, a lady of 
our party said, " I did not like to speak to 
you during the banquet or concert, about your 
head-dress, for I hoped it would have escaped 
notice ; as, however, I could perceive it at- 
tracted the marked attention of some persons 
who sat near the royal family, I shall no longer 
conceal from you, that the use of ostrich fea- 
thers is contrary to the etiquette of our court. 
If this has not been mentioned by some one 
else, it is from motives of dehcacy, there being 
no difficulty in recognizing you to be an Eng- 
lishwoman." As may be easily supposed. 


I felt exceedingly embarrassed at the blunder 
I had thus inadvertently committed ; but being 
determined to remedy it at once, I gently re- 
proached the lady for not apprising me of the 
circumstance before, and instantly taking out 
the feathers, handed them to the Count, with 
a request that he would conceal them under 
his court dress till we retired. From what oc- 
curred on the following day, it would appear 
that the removal of my plume had not only 
attracted the notice of the King and Queen, 
but called forth their approbation ; for I re- 
ceived a note from the Grand Chamberlain 
early next morning, politely stating, that he 
had it in command from their Majesties, to in- 
vite me to a second banquet and ball, to be 
given that very day in the royal palace. On 
Count Fersen's calling at a late hour, he told 
me that nothing could be more flattering than 
the mode of sending this invitation, and that 
he had no doubt it arose from the promptitude 
with which the plume had been removed on 
the preceding evening, when I heard it was 
contrary to etiquette.* 

* This was the second time I had unintentionally adopted 
a head-dress which did not accord with etiquette or national 
feelings ; but the first transgression might have been at- 
tended with much more serious consequences than it was. 



I had often heard of the famous Tackel 
Tance of Sweden, and which is also peculiar to 
other countries in the north of Europe. From 
its extreme singularity, I should imagine that 
this curious dance must have originated at a 
very remote period of civilization. The fol- 
lowing is the mode of performing the Tackel 
Tance, as nearly as I can recollect. It com- 
mences by a number of pages and other offi- 
cers of the royal household marching two and 
two, each bearing a large wax taper lighted in 
his hand. They thus march round the room 
to a slow and martial air, bowing to the com- 
pany as they pass, and followed by the dancers, 

It occurred at Paris, soon after the declaration of war against 
Austria^ and when the revolutionary frenzy was at its height. 
Havino; received a white satin cloak and bonnet, the latter 
ornamented with three feathers, (then called the Prince of 
Wales's plume,) I wore them for the first time at the Opera, 
but had not been long in the house, before the disapprobation 
of the audience was loudly expressed, and an officer of the 
municipality came to our box soon after, to ask whether I 
was not aware that the *' cocarde blanche" and the royal 
emblems had been abolished ; concluding his question with a 
peremptory order that I would either quit the theatre, or 
take off the articles of dress which gave such offence to the 
"citizens." It is scarcely necessary to add, that his wishes 
were complied with. I was then suffered quietly to witness 
the remainder of the performance. 


who perform a species of minuet step to the 
same music, and also make occasional obeisances 
to the spectators, all of whom join in the pro- 
cession in their turn, as one couple resumes 
theh' seat each time after making the round of 
the saloon — thus leaving room for the next in 

The first couple that stood up on this oc- 
casion was the young King, who opened the 
dance, or rather solemn procession, with his 
aunt, the Princess Sophia Albertina; next 
came the Queen, led by the Duke of Suder- 
mania, who afterwards dethroned her, and 
usurped the crown as Charles XIII. The 
royal partners closed with the Duchess of Su- 
dermania and Duke of Austragozia. 

The young Queen, who resumed her place 
imder the canopy after the first round, seem- 
ed much more weary and fatigued from the 
dull monotony of the Tackel Tanse, than she 
Avould have been by a sprightly Hungarian 
or German waltz. Although these were en- 
joyed by the rest of the company, they were 
considered as imsuited to the dignity neces- 
sary to be maintained on so solemn an occasion. 
The conclusion of this singular procession ap- 
pears to have been the signal for the royal pair 
to retire, as they withdrew immediately after. 


and were attended to the entrance of their pri- 
vate apartments by a long train of the nobility 
of both sexes, attached to the household. 

The principal point of attraction on the fol- 
lowing evening, was the celebrated opera of 
" Gustavus Vasa," which had been some time 
in preparation, as a part of the nuptial fetes. 
This drama, said to have been written by Gus- 
tavus III. to commemorate the exploits of the 
hero to whom Sweden is indebted for her li- 
beration from the Danish yoke, is by far the 
most popular of the national dramas, and ge- 
nerally performed during all great festivals. 
AYhen it was first produced at Stockholm, 
the Abbe Vogler, who composed the music, in- 
formed me that Gustavus and his two royal 
brothers superintended the naval and military 
evolutions in person. 

On the present occasion, the house was splen- 
didly decorated, so as to represent as nearly 
as possible an amphitheatre of antiquity ; the 
pit being raised from the orchestra to the se- 
cond tier of boxes, in which a canopy of state 
was prepared for the King and Queen, while 
the others were appropriated for the recep- 
tion of the household, foreign ambassadors, 
ministers, and nobility. The remainder of the 
theatre was thrown open to the public, with 


the exception of those tickets of admission 
distributed by the Grand-chambeiiain. It was 
also arranged that an abundant supply of re- 
freshments should be handed round between 
the acts. 

It is quite impossible to do justice to, or con- 
vey an adequate notion of, the splendour and 
magnificence with which the celebrated spec- 
tacle was prepared. It far exceeded all the 
theatrical representations I had ever witnessed, 
either in France, Italy, or any of the other 
great capitals of Europe. Besides the efforts 
which were made to render the interior of the 
house worthy of the occasion, it must be con- 
fessed that a great deal of the effect was de- 
rived from the singular arrangement by which 
the fine port of Stockholm, and Gulph of Both- 
nia, were thrown open to the spectators in the 
last scene, when this extraordinary sight was 
rendered still more attractive by the novel ex- 
hibition of a mock sea-fight, performed by 
divisions of the Swedish fleet. The effect of 
such a sight as this on a stranger may well be 
imagined. AVhen the firing commenced, and 
the land and sea forces were closely engaged, 
several of the females uttered loud shrieks, 
while others, and one lady in particular, the 
Grande l^ame (V H.onneu}\ to whom allusion 


has been already made, and with whom the 
Queen was conversing, threw a shawl over 
her head, and endeavoured to conceal herself 
in a corner of the box. Indeed, this example 
was followed by many more of the audience. 

The opera of " Gustavus Vasa" contains as 
much of the historical details upon which it 
is founded, as can well be represented in a 
melo-di'ama, aided by musical composition. 
Except the singing, which was execrable com- 
pared with what 1 had been accustomed to 
hear in Italy, the performance went off with 
great eclats and received immense plaudits 
from a most crowded audience. It is need- 
less to add, that owing to the local advantages 
of the theatre, there is no other in Europe that 
could do justice to this magnificent spectacle 
and truly national drama. 



Natural characteristics of the Swedish territory. — Its expor- 
tation of dried fish. — Relative modes of preparing it prac- 
tised in Sweden and in Scotland. — Preference of the latter 
— Successive territorial losses. — Personal peculiarities of 
the Swedes.— Swedish inns, and hospitality. — GustavusIII. 
and the Empress Catherine of Russia. — Committee of dress. 
— The Princesses DaschcofF and Baratinzky. — Lally, the 
violinist. — His dismay on receiving a compliment from Gus- 
tavus. — Explanation of the Abbe Vogler. — Marriage of 
Gustavus. — His singular conduct towards his wife. — The 
Count de Munck. — Alleged illegitimacy of the heir to the 
throne. — Ulrica, the Queen IMother. — Her sedulous espi- 
oniiage of the proceedings of the King and his confidential 
servant. — Ambitious and vindictive character of this Prin- 
cess — Atrocious reports disseminated by her, respecting 
the morals of her two eldest sons. 

Sweden is, perhaps, t\\e j)ooresi kingdom in 
Europe, in all substantial advantages, and the 
richest in barren-looking, snowy mountains, par- 
ticularly on the road from Stockholm through 
Finland, which province possesses abundant 

SWEDEN. 157 

mines of different metals, large forests of rude 
timber, with plenty of water, both fresh and 
salt, which how^ever is not very productive of 
fish. Cod-fish forms, it is true, a considerable 
article of Swedish commerce ; but, from the 
way in which it is cured and dried, is found to 
be decidedly inferior to that prepared for ex- 
portation in England or Scotland ; the former 
is cured only with sea-w'ater, the latter with 
rock-salt. The Swedish sort is called schtoak 
fish, a very appropriate name, as it requires 
" much castigation" from a good stout stick, 
before it is tender enough to be boiled with 
any chance of becoming palatable. 

Having said that this crude and unsavoury 
article is a principal one in Swedish trade, it 
will scarcely be matter of surprise w^ien we re- 
peat that Sw^eden is, when regarded as a Mng- 
dom, the most unimportant and destitute of 
resources of all the sovereignties of the Conti- 
nent; especially since the loss it sustained in 
the time of Charles XII., of Courland, Carlia, 
and other provinces, which, during a course 
of two centuries, have been ravished from the 
Swedish territories by Russia ; and more par- 
ticularly still, since the loss of the entire pro- 
vince of Finland, the richest of its possessions 
in point of population, navigation, inland 


trade, and, the greatest is behind, of industry 
and enterprize. Finland, too, was one of the 
strongest natural barriers that Sweden formerly- 
presented against the encroachments of her 
powerful and ambitious neighbour ; and its 
cession, consequently, tends to endanger the se- 
curity and independence of the kingdom, in- 
asmuch as Russia has now unimpeded access 
to it on all sides, and will without doubt avail 
herself thereof. Norway offers but a sorry in- 
demnity for the detachment of this most im- 
portant portion of the ancient domains of the 
Swedish monarchy. 

Sweden is, generally speaking, a very ro- 
mantic country ; and in many parts, its bare 
rocks, precipitous mountains, and impetuous 
rivulets, together with the character of the 
climate, remind the traveller of Swiss scenery. 
The natives of the land have ever been re- 
garded as a warlike race. They are of fair com- 
plexion ; yet not pallid, or of a deathy hue, 
like the Danes. The men are rather above the 
middle height, and well made, with expres- 
sive features : the women somewhat more in- 
clined to be masculine than is customary with 
those of the northern countries, having com- 
monly the high cheek bones of the Scotch 
mountain females ; clear, healthy con]plexions ; 


a candid character of expression ; speaking- 
eyes ; and a good deal of symmetry in the 
figure. The personal characteristics of this 
nation have not been modified, like those of 
many others, by frequent invasion and conse- 
quent intermixture. 

The government of Sweden has undergone 
many changes ; — from monarchy to democracy 
— from aristocracy to individual despotism. At 
present, it is composed of four orders ; the 
king, the nobles, the clerg}^, and the peasant ; 
each of which latter three is duly represented 
by delegates, at the general meeting of the 
National Senate. 

I have, in the preceding chapter, taken occa- 
sion to commend the provisions established in 
this country with regard to travelling. The 
roads, in general, are tolerably good, and the 
posts well supplied w^ith cattle. The horses 
are sure-footed and swift, though small. But 
the i7ins, if so they may be called, on the whole 
route from Denmark to Stockholm, and even 
on to St. Petersburgh, are quite horrible, the 
rooms are complete holes ; and in Finland, have 
scarce elevation enough to admit of a mode- 
rate-sized woman standing upright. Neither 
the Swedes nor Danes pique themselves much 
on their Iwspifaliti/ : but, as we personally found 


no lack of tliat virtue, the old proverb is appli- 
cable — " ubi bene, ibi patria." 

Gustavus III., King of Sweden, in one of 
his visits to Catherine the Second, took the 
liberty to observe to her Imperial Majesty, 
that he thought it would add much to her 
already high celebrity, if she made some salu- 
tary regulations regarding the dress of the 
lower orders of her subjects, particularly of the 
postilions and such-like, " who," said he, " ge- 
nerally appear, in winter, in a filthy undressed 
sheep-skin jacket and trowsers, wear long beards, 
and have their hair quite matted together, which 
appointments, joined to their native ugliness, 
give these men the appearance, to foreigners, of 
beasts of the wilderness rather than of human 
beings ;" and concluded by urging her Ma- 
jesty to follow up, in this instance, the plans of 
civilization which she had brought about in so 
many others. " INIy dear brother," replied the 
Empress, " )^our INIajesty has no idea of the 
bigotry of the Russian character. Tartars, Cal- 
mucks, Cossacks, and, indeed, all the various 
barbarous races of the Don, are more attached 
to their beastly sheep-skins and yet beastlier 
beards, than to their very lives ! My poor dear 
husband was desirous, poor soul ! (and here 
her Imperial Majesty tried to look sentimental,) 


of just getting them to shave, and to shorten 
their exuberant hair ; and they soon shortened 
his days, and pkniged him into an untimely 
grave." The Princess Daschcoif (who was 
yet in the confidence of the Empress) being 
present, Gustavus, addressing her, said, " No 
doubt, Princess, you must have also been much 
affected, as well as the Empress, at the occur- 
rence of that cruel circumstance." — " II faut 
etre philosopJie, mon P?ince T answered she. 
" Yes," rejoined Gustavus, " but we manage 
things differently in Sweden (alluding to the 
bloodless revolution he had himself brought 
about at Stockholm) ; we strangle the regicides 
in the cradle, before they arrive at sufficient 
maturity for king-killing."* 

The Princess DaschcofF, leaving the apart- 
ment, met the Princess Baratinzky, (whose 
husband had been a principal agent in the 
horrid murder of Peter III.,) and laughing 
aloud, exclaimed, " I am ready to burst at 

* Little thought Gustavus III., when he made this ob- 
servation, that at Stockholm, in the very capital of his own 
dominions, dwelt the regicide Ankerstrom, destined so soon 
to put a period to his life, whilst in the midst of his subjects 
at a public entertainment ; and without any provocation, as 
the murderer confessed, except his having been refused un- 
merited preferment. 

VOL. I. M 


witnessing the farce which the Empress is 
performing before that comical king." On 
their both returning to the Empress's cabinet, 
the name of Baratinzky being announced, Gus- 
tavus said to Catherine, in a jocular tone, 
" Well, Madam, console yourself ; for here I 
see is another lady, who naturally feels for the 
same cause which excites your Majesty's grief." 
But Catherine was not over fond of being 
rallied upon this theme, and hastily answered, 
" Let us change the subject." 

" Well then," returned Gustavus, adverting 
to his former suggestion ; " however difficult 
your Majesty may think this project of mine, 
as regards its adoption in Russia, I will send 
you, within a month after my arrival at Stock- 
holm, whither I am now going, the model of 
a national dress which I mean to introduce 
there — and that without the employment of 
force ; which will at any rate exemplify the dif- 
ference of national character between the two 

In truth, this eccentric man had scarcely 
reached his own capital, when he himself. Count 
Erval Fersen, Armfeldt, Springporten, &c., all 
appeared at the levde in a dress dictated by the 
caprice of the moment, something like that 
commonly worn in Spain. It appears that liis 


Majesty meant this only as an experiment 
on the spirit and disposition of the few nobles 
of his household, without having previously 
determined whether it should be a partial gala 
court-dress, or a general costume for all who 
were to be admitted at the levee. But Gus- 
tavus was at that period so popular, that there 
was not the least necessity for his commanding 
a change of the ancient Swedish habit. The 
new one became at once general, and on the 
next court-day, no one presented himself other- 
wise dressed. The renounced Swedish habit 
was similar to that worn by the Dutch skip- 
pers in North Holland, which consists of a loose, 
clumsy, short jacket, and veryv^idie small-clothes: 
a di'ess now totally obsolete in Sweden. 

Gustavus, on returning to Sweden after his 
travels in France and Italy, was anxious to 
promote the civilization of his subjects, by en- 
couraging men of genius and of moral worth 
to visit his capital. Among others, he invited 
the celebrated violinist Lally, although he knew 
him only by reputation. The Abb6 Vogler 
(at that time composer and director of the con- 
certs about to be established,) presented M. 
Lally before the commencement of his per- 
formance to the King, whispering to his Ma- 
jesty as he did so, that in order to retain a man 

M 2 


of Lally's celebrity, it would be necessary to 
flatter his amour j)roprc by some direct mark 
of royal favour. " Lakse'^L-moi faire^ said the 

As soon, therefore, as the artist began tuning 
his instrument, the King and aU the royal fa- 
mily set up an enthusiastic acclamation; and 
the astonished violinist, not vmderstanding the 
precise meaning of this kind of compliment, 
in some trepidation let fall liis bow. The 
Abbe Vogler picked it up, and perceiving the 
reason of this mortification on the part of 
Lally, he exclaimed, standing as he did near 
the King and the rest of the royal connoisseurs, 
" Don't be surprised, M. Lally, it is the politic 
custom, in these remote climates, to applaud 
performers generally before they begin, for very 
few who have visited Sweden have deserved 
it afterwards. I say this, just to give you an 
idea of Northern politeness. Begin your con- 
certo : you cannot but succeed ! They are all 
higlily excited by your reputation, and the 
mere smell of the resin of your bow^ will intoxi- 
cate them quite !" 

Nor was Vogler wide of the mark. When 
Lally, who was without doubt a very great 
performer, had finished, the King presented 


him with a most elegant snuff-box, set with 
diamonds and filled with gold. 

The marriage of Gustavus III. (when Crown 
Prince) to the Princess of Denmark, his first 
cousin, and sister of Christian VII., was not 
from choice, but in consequence of the in- 
fluence which his mother, Ulrica, the Queen- 
dowager, exercised over this prince, especially 
during his minority. She enforced it as neces- 
sary in order to strengthen the Swedish mo- 
narchy, by alliance with a Danish princess, 
against the unlimited ambitious views of the 
Russian autocrat; but it was pretty well known 
among: the ladies and gentlemen of the roval 
household, that, like his uncle, the great Frede- 
rick, he had abstained from consummating his 
marriage. Frederick was, from the violence of 
his father, compelled to marry the Princess of 
Brunswick, grand-aunt to the late Queen Ca- 
roline of England : and Gustavus is said to 
have imitated, from the very nuptial ceremony, 
the conduct observed on that occasion by his 
uncle — each of these curious bridegrooms po- 
litely conducting his bride to the door of her 
bedchamber, wishing her, with profound re- 
spect, "Good Night!" and then leaving her, un- 
interrupted, to her private meditations. It has 


been affirmed that Frederick, during the whole 
course of his life, never once swerved from his 
first resohition, and had no interview with his 
Queen except in public on levde days, or in 
presence of his generals and household. He 
always treated this sacrificed Princess, however, 
with the greatest respect and attention, with 
this single exception, of not consummating the 
marriage — which he pertinaciously forbore to 
do, as it was one contrary to his inclination ; 
he having been long attached to the Princess 
Amelia, (daughter of King George li.,) who 
died at an advanced age, unmarried, although 
it is said, from living proof, not a maiden lady. 
But the King of Sweden neglected his young 
bride almost wholly from the aversion he had 
taken to his mother; — fearing that, as they were 
related, the latter might teach his consort to 
endeavour to thwart her husband's power. It 
was natural, however, that when convinced of 
his error, and assured that no suspicious inti- 
macy existed between these ladies, he should 
avail himself of his union with a woman whose 
qualities, although not brilliant, were of a na- 
ture to ensure the more solid comforts of con- 
nubial life. 

The admirable conduct of this youthful 
Queen also tended to fix the erratic regard of 


Gustavus. She was unshaken in her devotion 
to his slightest wishes, and obedience to his 
most capricious injunctions, to which she sub- 
mitted without a murmur. It was impossible 
for any man, who had not the heart of a stone, 
to resist those sweet appeals; and penetrated 
at length by so much goodness, Gustavus deter- 
mined on becoming, though unavowedly, the 
real husband of the Danish princess. 

Such were the unfortunate circumstances 
which gave rise to the much-disputed question 
of the legitimacy of the Queen's offspring. 
The enemies of Gustavus assert, that he was 
resolved, whatever might or might not ensue 
from his reconciliation with his wife, to have 
the credity at least, of giving an heir to the 
Swedish monarchy ; and that, for this purpose, 
he was abandoned enough himself to introduce, 
in his nocturnal visits to the Queen, a sort of 
double, in the person of the Count de Munck. 
It was further said, that Munck had been the 
party who had, by certain disclosures, paved the 
way for this sudden and mysterious change of 
conduct on the part of Gustavus, toward his 
long-neglected and almost-forgotten bride. 

The intrigues of courts, if fairly and fully 
exposed, would, we are inclined to think, un- 
fold some of the most revolting and abomina- 


ble scenes of depravity upon record. The 
Queen-mother of Sweden, Uh'ica, had exer- 
cised over her husband, during the latter years 
of his reign, almost unlimited control ; and she 
still held the desire of domineering, in like 
manner, over the proceedings of her son. To 
this, however, Gustavus III. decidedly object- 
ed ; and, as it has already appeared, so jealous 
was he of any the least interference with his 
power, that he abjured even the society of his 
wife, fearing that she had been inoculated by 
her mother-in-law with rebellious principles, 
although in other respects he was not slow to 
acknowledge her estimable qualities. 

Ulrica was of a nature altogether base and 
vindictive. Havin^c conceived some resentment 
against her brother, the great Frederick of 
Prussia, on account of that prince's expostu- 
lations respecting her impudent attempt to ride 
her son as she had done his father, she propa- 
gated concerning him an infamous report, in 
which she mixed up (to her eternal disgrace be 
it mentioned, both as a mother, a sister, and a 
female,) her own royal son, and subsequently 
his brotlier, tlie Duke of Sudermania, who liad, 
on discoverino; the intrimies of his duchess 
(seduced by the Queen-dowager), withdrawn 
from her apartment, and attached himself more 


closely to the society of his brother Gustavus. 
For this report there does not appear to have 
been the slightest foundation, and it doubtless 
had its origin in a feeling of revenge enter- 
tained by Ulrica, on account of her fraudulent 
intrigues having been discovered and defeated. 
These intrigues were not only directed against 
the King's power, but were set on foot to screen 
the frequent pregnancy of another branch of 
her family, which nevertheless was well known 
to many persons about the palace, whom, from 
their situations, it was impossible wholly to 
blind. The " woolly-headed intruder," and the 
" cushion business," are themes we shall come 
to anon, and the purport of whicii is sufficiently 
attested by individuals still residing at Stock- 

For some of these private anecdotes we can 
ourselves vouch ; others we relate as an indiffer- 
ent traveller, merely as they have been commu- 
nicated to us ; whether true or false, they have 
gained general credence, and, from our personal 
experience of courts, we can testify at any rate 
to their verisimilitude. 

The reconciliation of the King and Queen of 
Sweden went far to crush these machinations ; 
but, curiously enough, the very circumstance 
that was meant to avert the evil of an ille- 


gitimate offspring sitting upon the Swedish 
throne, was used to propagate the rumour that 
such an evil was actually impending. The 
King, as we have already stated, being under- 
stood to be accompanied in his secret visits to 
his consort, by Munck, the Queen-mother em- 
ployed spies to watch the movements of the 
latter, by whom he was discovered occasionally 
to go in and out of the Queen's apartments with- 
out his royal master ; a circumstance contrived, 
it is said, by the eccentric Gustavus, by way of 
a blind to his mother, of whose conduct he was 
well aware. 

Ulrica therefore entertained a conviction that 
there existed an amour between her daughter- 
in-law and her son's chamberlain, not being 
able to conceive that Munck was nothing more 
than the depositary of his royal master's se- 
cret ; and full of this imagined discovery, she 
stated her belief to Gustavus, who, far from 
approving her zeal, repulsed it decidedly, and 
enjoined upon her silence respecting her un- 
worthy suspicions, and deference for the cha- 
racter of his wife. Hence it was, that Ulrica 
herself originated the scandal that her son had 
played the pander to his own spouse; and it 
was even added, that in order to quiet the 
scruples of the young Queen, his Majesty had 


privately divorced himself from her, and com- 
pelled her to contract a left-handed marriage 
with Count Munck — the consequence of whose 
nocturnal visits is said to have been Gustavus 
Adolphus IV., who, however strange and im- 
probable this story may appear, chiefly owes to 
its circulation his own dethronement, and the 
exclusion of his posterity ! 



The Authoress encounters, at the baths of Carlsbad, in Bohe- 
mia, the Duchess of Mecklenburgh Schwerin and her 
suite. — Arrival of a courier from the Duke. Contents of 
the despatches. — Invitation of the Duchess. — Character of 
Gustavus Adolphus, successor of Gustavus III.- — His pro- 
jected marriage with the Princess of JNIecklenburgh pro- 
hibited by Catherine the Great. — Departure of the King 
for St. Petersburgh, with his uncle, the Duke of Suder- 
mania. — The Empress proposes her niece to Gustavus 
Adolphus. — iMutual affection of the parties. — Attempted 
treachery of Catherine, and restraint of the King of Swe- 
den. — He refuses to sign the marriage contract, and de- 
parts for Stockholm. — Astonishment and dismay of the 
courtiers. — Surreptitious treaty between Catherine and 
Gustavus III. — Intrigues of the Duke of Sudermania, 
afterwards Charles XIII. 

Being at Carlsbad, in Bohemia, on her way 
to Berlin, in the year 1794-5, the Authoress 
accidentally met there with her Serene High- 
ness the Duchess of Mecklenburgh Schwerin, 
who had been on a visit to her royal relatives 


in England* From the reception she met 
with, this princess became very much attached 
to the manners and customs of the British 
nation as well as to its natives ; and the writer, 
being recognized by her Serene Highness as 
an English lady, had the honour of being dis- 
tinguished from the rest of the bathing and 
watering visitors, and of accompanying the 
duchess in several of her morning rambles. 

In one of these, her Serene Highness was 
accosted by a courier, who had come from the 
Duke of Mecklenburgh with the glad tidings 
that the Regent of Sweden, Charles Duke of 
Sudermania, had fixed on her Serene High- 
ness's daughter as the bride of the young King 
Gustavus Adolphus. 

This selection, although now first duly an- 
nounced, had been for some time anticipated 
in the German newspapers : but the duchess 
had too nice a sense of delicacy to make any 
public allusion to it until the intelligence was 
no longer doubtful. Turning to me on this 
occasion, she imparted the tidings with which 
the courier was charged, and observed, in ad- 

* As a Princess of Saxe-Gotha, her Serene Highness was 
nearly allied to the mother of George III. 


dition, — " It is now almost a century since a 
former Princess of Mecklenburgh was elevated 
to the Swedish throne." As she spoke, her 
Serene Highness graciously handed me the 
packet containing both the Duke's letter and 
the Swedish despatch. " There," continued 
she, " you will see that his Majesty has been 
highly pleased with the picture of the Princess, 
my daughter, and has condescended to send her 
his in return." 

Her Serene Highness could not fail to ob- 
serve the sympathy which was excited in me 
by her communication of this pleasing news. 
It was, indeed, expressed, I believe, on every 
feature of my countenance. Before, however, 
I could give utterance to these feelings, she 
said, — " Well, if you really sympathise in the 
good fortune of my family, promise me that 
you will come to Ludwigslust and be pre- 
sent at the ceremony. It will not be much 
out of your way to England ; and I will, pre- 
vious to quitting this to-morrow, give you 
letters to the Duchess of York, the Duchess 
of Brunswick, and the Courts of Dresden and 
Berlin." 1 received these gracious offers with 
due respect, but under the condition that I 
should not find it necessary immediately to 
embark for England. Her Serene Highness, 


however, would hear of no conditional pro- 
mise ; and it was agreed that I should be 
present at the royal nuptials. 

I cannot avoid, here, exhibiting a slight 
sketch of the true character of that dethroned 
monarch and singular man, Gustavus Adol- 
phus, which, I trust, Avill tend in some mea- 
sure to give the reader a very different opinion 
of him from that under which he has hitherto 
laboured. He will hence appear to have been 
almost a voluntary and devoted victim to the 
love and attachment which he bore to the 
country over which he reigned ; — not like 
several other modern princes, whom I could 
name, who have certainly forfeited their rights, 
in running from the scene of action, abandon- 
ing their subjects, and conceiving nothing wor- 
thy of regard but the preservation of their 
own precious and most holy persons. 

Every thing had been settled for the Prin- 
cess of Mecklenburgh to take her departure 
from Schwerin for her new residence at Stock- 
holm ; and while preparations were making 
for her long journey, the contemplated nup- 
tials were announced at the Court of Saint 
Petersburgh, and were there immediately in- 
terdicted, as will hereafter be more fully 
shown. Gustavus had no power to dispute 


the imperial mandate ; but was, on the con- 
trary, compelled, in order to avert from Swe- 
den the threatened horrors of a Russian in- 
vasion, to quit his own independent domi- 
nions, and repair, in propria persona, to Saint 
Petersburgh, accompanied by his uncle, the 
Duke of Sudermania, then Regent and the 
King's tutor. 

At Saint Peter.'^burgh, all the requisite dis- 
positions had been made, and it was determin- 
ed that Gustavus should espouse the Grand- 
duchess, sister to his present Majesty the Em- 
peror Nicholas ; but "though a mere boy at the 
time, and under the despotic influence of his 
royal uncle, and the still more compulsory dic- 
tation of Catherine II., finding some articles 
inserted in the marriage contract which were 
in opposition to the spirit of the Swedish laws, 
Gustavus manfully renounced his second be- 
trothed and her awakening regard, rather than 
compromise or endanger the national weal. To 
the present object, too, he was himself warmly 
attached, which was not the case as respected 
the Princess of Mecklenburffh, whom he had 
never seen. His heart had been, so far, disen- 
gaged, and it was the feelings of the indepen- 
dent sovereign alone that had been outraged : 
but here, the matter was different. — The Grand- 


duchess luid excited his love, and he was most 
anxious to become the possessor of so much 
youth, amiabiUty, and beauty ; yet all these 
fascinations Gustavus was content to sacrifice 
for the peace of his conscience, and the good of 
his country. We will relate the circumstances 
attending this renunciation a little more parti- 

The capital of Saint Petersburgh resounded 
with the news of these illustrious nuptials, and 
nothing else indeed had been tlie subject of 
conversation in that dissolute city for a long- 
time past. The King had consented that his 
future Queen should be fully at liberty to pur- 
sue her own religious exercises : a draught was 
therefore ordered to be drawn up of these ar- 
ticles, and presented to Gustavus; but the con- 
tract itself was not to be laid before the royal 
Swede, until the moment when it was to be 
signed at the altar. Catherine, in this arrange- 
ment, had estimated the probable unwilling- 
ness which " the boy" (as she was wont to dis- 
tinguish him) would feel, to interrupt a mar- 
riage so much desired by all parties, at the very 
instant when the Imperial bride stood in rea- 
diness to complete it. She reckoned wholly on 
the rashness and thoughtlessness of his cha- 
racter ; and thus confiding, insidiously dictated 

VOL. I. N 



the insertion of a fresh article. But she was, 
in this instance, deceived: when the proper 
officers of the Imperial Palace, waited by the 
command of her Majesty upon Gustavus, to an- 
nounce that his presence was expected ^thereat, 
he requested that the marriage contract might 
first be sent him for perusal. At sight of the 
article surreptitiously introduced, he declined to 
sign the instrument ; and while the Empress, 
the Grand-duke and Duchess, and the bride, 
^ere anxiously awaiting his arrival, surrounded 
by all the flower of the Russian empire, Gusta- 
vus was coolly employed in taking notes of his 
marriage contract ! Indeed, so disgusted was 
he at the trick thus attempted to be played off 
upon his youth, that he intimated to her Im- 
perial Majesty, without delay, his absolute re- 
fusal to attend her summons unless the obnox- 
ious articles were expunged. 

At this unexpected rebellion against the 
mandate of the all-powerful Catherine, (who 
had never before experienced a negative) the 
whole court became alarmed for probable con- 
sequences : her Imperial Majesty lost the power 
of speech ; the bride went into violent hyste- 
rics ; the Grand-duke and Duchess stared at 
each other with petrified looks ; the popes and 


priests who were collected to officiate, trembled 
at the altar ; the ministers were at a loss how 
to negotiate ; whilst the grandees and princes 
of the empire, with chattering teeth and qui- 
vering lips, stood in awful expectation of what 
might ensue. 

A faithful picture of this curious scene was 
repeatedly exhibited to Gustavus, but without 
the least effect ; all which the successive mes- 
sengers could obtain, was the following reply : 
" That the contract contained clauses he was not 
prepared to meet, nor could he sign them with- 
out the consent of his senate, they being un- 
constitutional and against the laws of the Swe- 
dish nation. Catherine now despatched a whole 
troop of ambassadors, to endeavour to gain 
over this restive king, but to no better pur- 
pose ; and it is believed she was on the point 
of ordering her body guard to surround his 
apartment, and compel him to obedience. In 
making this tardy resolution, however, her Im- 
perial Majesty was too late : for even while the 
question was deliberating, the bird had flown ! 
Gustavus set off, accompanied by his uncle, the 
Duke of Sudermania, with all speed, for Fin- 
land, and thus terminated this famous second 
betrothal of Gustavus Adolphus, from the happy 

N 2 


conclusion of which, the Empress had promis- 
ed lierself so many advantages over the " boy 
king," and the whole Swedish nation. 

This circumstance undoubtedly hastened her 
death. The shock which her pride had under- 
gone on being thus foiled by a stripling, and 
the fatigue she encountered in attending, at 
her advanced age, all the previous fetes and en- 
tertainments, contributed to bring on a fixed 
melancholy, which nothing could divert. In 
public, it is true, every nerve was strained in 
order to enable this haughty woman to mask 
and conceal the feelings which in reality op- 
pressed her; but the consequent reaction in 
her more retired hours was extremely violent. 
Her private reflections must, indeed, have been 
bitter enough, on many accounts ; and she at 
length fell vmder the weight in a fit of apo- 

To justify " Catherine the Great" in the 
eyes of Europe, for her conduct towards the 
Swedish sovereign, a treaty was hatched up, 
and promulgated by her ministers, purporting 
to have been formerly set on foot between her 
Imperial Majesty and Gustavus the Third ; but 
which, in fact, never had any absolute exis- 
tence, save in the intrigues of the King's unna- 
tiual uncle and guardian^ the Duke of Suder- 


mania, who was constantly plotting against 
him. The motives of this Prince for objecting, 
as he did, to his nephew's union with the Prin- 
cess of JNIecklenburgh, arose from the popula- 
rity into which the anticipation of that match 
had brought the youthful monarch — the peo- 
ple being instinctively averse to a matrimonial 
alliance with Russia. Now, the popularity of 
Gustavus Adolphus was exceedingly prejudi- 
cial to the sinister designs of his ambitious 
uncle; and to counteract it, he fabricated 
this treaty, with which he despatched General 
Springporten to Saint Petersburg!!, calculating 
on the well-known policy of the Russian Auto- 
crat to second his machinations. Thus he pro- 
posed to himself a double chance ; either to in- 
cense the Empress against Gustavus, and win 
her to his individual interests, should the King 
persist in his choice ; or to alienate from him 
the affections of his people, in case he should 
intermarry with a Grand-duchess of Russia. 
Catherine, as we have seen, summoning both 
luicle and nephew to her capital, started the 
alliance with her grand-daughter, which was so 
abruptly terminated. 

Can there, we would ask, be a more grati- 
fying, a more noble spectacle, than that of a 
young prince subjecting himself from patriotic 


motives, to the hostile caprices of a despot, far 
more powerful than himself; and not only do- 
ing this, but — harder task ! controlling and 
subduing his own passions — all ranged on that 
despot's side ! 



The British Army at Bremen. — Extortion and insolence of an 
innkeeper and a magistrate. — Disorderly conduct, and dis- 
asters of the English troops. — High-road to Hamburgh 
and Hanover. — Advantages of Macadamization — Ludwigs- 
lust and its ceremonials. — Etiquette in the minor Ger- 
man States. — The Red Deer at Munich — Method of ablu- 
tion there. — Hotels of Vienna. — A German bed, and one of 
its occupants. 

About the time we left Carlsbad, or shortly 
after, General Brune invaded Holland, and 
compelled the British army to retreat to Bre- 
men. General Motz, a most worthy Hessian 
gentleman, who was one of the commissaries- 
general, and a very particular friend of mine, 
seeing our arrival from Italy notified in the 
German papers, apprised several old English 
friends thereof, whom we had not met for some 
years, and whom we were urgently invited 
to visit in their military quarters ; and we had 


scarcely, in consequence of this invitation, ar- 
rived at Bremen, when we received from the 
Duchess of JNIecklenburgh a despatch, where- 
in her Serene Highness specified the time at 
whicli she should expect the fulfilment of our 
promise made at the Baths. 

I will take the present opportunity of 
communicating some curious anecdotes respect- 
ing the ingratitude of the magistrates of Bre- 
men towards our countrymen, when travel- 
ling there, in consequence of the reverses of the 
British army and the successes of the French. 

Our tavern-keeper having sent in an exor- 
bitant bill, we requested the commissary -gene- 
ral, Motz, our particular friend, to make a suit- 
able remonstrance. No redress, however, was 
procured, an attempt being made, in answer, to 
justify the demand. The commissary-general, 
not feeling by any means satisfied, requested 
that every item should be distinctly set down. 
So far, however, from this producing the de- 
sired effect, the landlord, with inconceivable as- 
svirance, protested that the sum, when reckoned 
in detail, would amount to at least twenty 
crowns more. Upon this, ^I. JNlotz imme- 
diately represented the matter to General 
Dundas ; and tlie general, without loss of 
time, sent for a magistrate, who positively de- 


dined interfering, saying that he had no autho- 
rity to do so, unless there had been a written 
agreement. " AVhy," exclaimed the astonished 
general, " if this extortion should become 
known amongst the British army, they will set 
fire to your town." — " Well," answered the 
other quite coolly, *' the French are at hand, 
and will soon put it out again!" We were 
ultimately obliged to make a merit of neces- 
sity, and paid about fifty crowns for what, on 
the Bath-road, in the height of the season, 
would not have cost ten ! 

The immense loss sustained by the British 
armament on this occasion, both in men and 
baggage, is pretty generally known. We were 
informed on the spot, that it arose almost 
wholly from their own careless and disorderly 
conduct. The INIoor-Dyke was covered with 
ice, and fairs held thereupon ; and large parties 
of English, not clearly comprehending the in- 
structions given them by the Dutch, strayed 
out of their way upwards of fifty miles. Being 
very much attached, also, to the Dutch gin, 
they took it by wholesale, and getting so in- 
toxicated as to fall asleep, perished in that 
state by hundreds, in consequence of the 
intense cold. Those who were sufficiently 
wary to avoid paying these profuse libations 


to the rosy god, arrived safe and sound at 

The high way from Bremen to Hamburgh, 
and from Hamburgh to Hanover, is of a nature 
to beggar all description ! The barbarians of 
the country call it a road, but as the Irish 
soldiers said, " 'Tis no road at all, at all ! ex- 
cept to an witimely grave /" At that season 
of the year, it must, indeed, have been truly 
horrible : to do it strict justice, it can only be 
compared to those mountains of loose stones 
which we now see heaped up together by the 
Macadamizing gentry, in the streets of London. 
Louis the XIV. obtained fame, and properly 
too, by making all the high roads out of Paris 
streets ; whilst our authorities are, vice ve^'sa, 
seeking renown by turning the streets of the 
metropolis into high roads. Old women and 
children are, it is true, owing to the greater 
swiftness and lesser noise of the vehicles, con- 
stantly run over ; but, yiimporte ! it is perhaps 
considered, that this, as we shall never have 
another war, is a good and effectual means of 
checking the superabundant population. 

To return to our delightful journey. From 
Bremen, in a light phaeton and four, Avithout 
any luggage, we travelled at the rate of twenty 
miles per day in twelve hours. When it pleased 


Providence, we arrived at Ludwigslust, with 
sound bones, it is true, but not with whole 
skins, which were most unmercifully bruised, 
scratched, and discoloured, in this our peni- 
tential pilgrimage. All these inconveniences 
were, however, amply compensated by the 
polite and gracious reception we experienced 
from their Serene Highnesses the Duke and 
Duchess of Mecklenburgh, their illustrious 
family, and, in a word, from the whole Court. 
We had, therefore, the honour of being pre- 
sent at the nuptial ceremony, which took place 
at the palace of Ludwigslust, between the 
Princess of Mecklenburgh and the Count de 
Morner, as proxy for the young King, Gus- 
tavus Adolphus. 

The sequel of this story has already been laid 
before the reader. Notwithstanding the youth- 
ful King of Sweden had fully compromised 
himself in this matter, by causing his union to 
be solemnized in the face of all Europe ; he 
was compelled^ although professing to be So- 
vereign of an independent state, to bend the 
knee before a foreign power, and recall his own 
acts of declaration. In all probability, Gusta- 
vus Adolphus retained the recollection of this 
galling necessity at the moment in which he 
flatly refused to conclude the marriage treaty. 


(on the Empress's own terms,) with the grand- 
daughter of Catherine. 

Ludwigslust is the only village we met 
Avith, in all our travels through Europe, south, 
east, west, and north, where money had no 
value. Being nothing more, in fact, than the 
country residence of the Duke of JNlecklen- 
burgh, there was no public inn in the place ; 
nor could any thing be procured, either to eat 
or drink, except in the few private houses of 
those attached to the Court. 

We alighted at the hotel of one of the court 
musicians, called Celestini, who lodged us hos- 
pitably for the night; and would have kept 
us longer, had not we been removed by order 
of the duchess, and supplied with every re- 

Notwithstanding the smallness of its terri- 
tory, and consequent narrowness of its revenue, 
every thing about this Court is found, thougli 
in miniature, the same as about those of Vi- 
enna or St. Petersburgh. 

In some of the minor states of Germany — 
Hanover for instance, the inhabitants of which 
are perhaps at once prouder and poorer than 
any of their fellow-countrymen — there are no 
less than six classes or orders of nobility ; and 
the females uniformly enjoy the titles of their 


husbands, not only in these ranks, as is com- 
mon, but in the other grades of society : — thus, 
for example, the wife of a parson is called 
Frau Prediger ; of a physician, Frau INIedicus ; 
a tailor's lady is Frau Schneiderin ; a cobler's, 
Frau Schumacherin ; a general's, Frau Gene- 
ralin; and all these J'rmis feel themselves highly 
offended if not duly distinguished according to 
their husband's vocation ! 

In some of the most refined cities of Ger- 
many, civilization does not seem to have made 
the slightest progress during the last seven 
centuries. At Munich, for instance, the ca- 
pital of Bavaria, at the principal hotel (The 
Red Deer) frequented by citizens of the first 
respectability, as well as by officers, both civil 
and military, of his Majesty's household, they 
bring you, if you ask for a towel in the morn- 
ing, a piece of linen fit only for a razor-rag ; if 
you require water to wash yourself, a small 
wine-glass full is presented on a saucer ! An 
Italian gentleman, who had been accustomed 
in his own country to wash in a Christianlike 
manner, with a sufficiency of water, having de- 
sired the waiter at the said hotel to bring him 
some, and seeing the man approach with a glass 
and saucer, very innocently said, " I don't 
want it to drinle, but to wash with." " Well !" 


answered the fellow, pertly enough, " and there 
it is /" " Why ! how the deuce," rejoined the 
other, " is a man to wash himself in a spoonful 
of water ?" " Lord bless you !" exclaimed the 
waiter, taking the fluid into his mouth, and 
then spitting it on his hands and rubbing his 
face therewith, *' That's the way for any man 
to wash his face !" 

In the chief inns of Vienna — and, in short, 
throughout Austria generally — instead of a 
bolster at the head of a bed, you find a sack, 
either of oats, corn, or chopped hay. The 
bedstead itself is not unlike the boxes wherein 
the poor are conveyed, when dead, to be bu- 
ried by the parish — just big enough to hold 
one small-sized person, and certainly not suf- 
ficiently large to accommodate a moderately- 
sized man. The consequence is, that an indi- 
vidual of six feet or so, must knock out the 
foot-board, and place the half of his legs upon 
a chair, in order to stretch himself at his ease, 
which the savages of the country say is only 
necessary after a man is dead. The coverlid 
of this horror, which they absurdly term a bed- 
stead, is only large and long enough to lay 
upon the surface of the machine, and the upper 
sheet is commonly sewed all round it ; so that, 


when inside this bed, the air obtrudes itself on 
all sides, unless you have a pair of sheets of 
your own to wrap round you. At Hanover, 
the coverlid is a linen bag filled with feathers, 
sufficient to smother those who have not been 
used to such a thing ; and the sight of it re- 
minds one of the cruel operation formerly prac- 
tised upon poor wretches in the last stage of 

A curious circumstance fell under the writer's 
personal observation at the hotel wherein we 
were lodged at Hanover. Just about the time 
that the Marquis of Huntley was returning 
from Corsica to England, a British officer, who 
wished to go thither, was desirous of joining 
his lordship's party. Understanding that they 
were gone to Cuxhaven, and not speaking a 
single word of German, he was obhged to wait 
for some companion who might serve him as 
interpreter. He was shown, at night, into an 
apartment adjoining ours, in tlie hotel in ques- 
tion ; and our door happening to be ajar at the 
moment, we became auditors of the following 
curious address to the waiter : — " I say, mv 
man, I see you sleep here as we do aboard ship 
— one above the other ; but I don't relish the 
fashion. I'll pay for the two beds ; and here's 


a half-crown for yourself. So take care that 
no big fellow of a German comes tumbling 
over me in the nic^ht !" 

The war continuing, instead of returning 
to Italy, as was intended, we took our route 
toward the North, and arrived just in time to 
be present at the third, and only real marriage 
of Gustavus Adolphus ; a full description of 
which we have given in Chapter VII. 



Further particulars relative to the Court of Stockholm. — 
Influence of Frederick the Great in rea-ulating the succes- 
sion to the Swedish throne. — The Princess Ulrica, sister to 
Frederick ; her personal deformity, and how occasioned. — 
Advice of Louis XV. to the Duchess of Parma.— Intrigues 
of Ulrica after the death of her husband, Adolphus Fre- 
derick. — Sterility of the Duchess of Sudermania, and fruit- 
fulness of the Princess Sophia Albertina. — A stratagem 
and a disappointment. — The woolly-headed intruder, and 
the cushion-baby. — Reconciliation of Gustavus III. to 
his bride, and consequent birth of Gustavus Adolphus. — 
Behaviour of the Queen-dowager on the occasion. — The 
Duke of Austragozia in the South of France. — His com- 
munication to the Authoress. — Baron d'Armfeidt and the 
Princess De Rohan. — Interesting facts gathered from a 
correspondence between the Baron and Count Fersen, &c. 

We have introduced our readers to some 
of the principal personages who figured in 
recent dates at the court of Stockhohn. That 
they are not of a more amiable nature, is no 

VOL. T. O 


fault of ours ; but the truth is, and experience 
has abundantly proved it to the writer of these 
pages, that the atmosphere of a court is the 
least calculated of any to foster the growth of 
estimable feelings or qualities. 

A number of royal persons connected with 
Sweden have briefly passed in review before 
us, and we will now turn back, and add such 
other anecdotes and data of various kinds, 
as have come to our knowledge, and may 
serve to illustrate and bring into stronger re- 
lief the different characters of whom we have 

Adolphus Frederick, King of Sweden, was 
exalted to the throne of the ancient Vasas, 
merely through the preponderating influence 
of Frederick II. of Prussia, — having been 
previovisly a Prince of Holstein. It is not 
perhaps generally known, that, at the precise 
juncture at which Elizabeth of Russia consti- 
tuted her nephew, Peter III. her heir, that 
Prince was called on to take possession of 
the crown and sceptre of Sweden. These he 
renounced for the imperial diadem, and by that 
renunciation made room for his uncle, the Bi- 
sliop of Liiback, who was elected, as observed 
above, through the influence of the King of 
Prussia, on condition tliat he (Adolphus Fre- 


derick) should marry Ulrica, Frederick the 
Great's favourite sister. 

The overture of a crown is seldom met by 
obstacles on the part of him to whom it is made; 
and accordingly, Adolphus readily complied 
with this proviso, notwithstanding the princess 
in question was afflicted with lameness, — a mis- 
fortune entailed on her through the violence of 
her own father. It is notorious to all readers 
of modern history, that the Great Frederick was 
at one time sentenced by his sire to the prison 
of Spandau ; and it is said that, owing to her 
interference on her brother's behalf, Ulrica in- 
curred the hot displeasure of the king. Ano- 
ther story attributes her losing the parental af- 
fection, to her having entertained a strong par- 
tiality for. the famous Baron Trenck; others, 
again, to her being privy to an intrigue her 
sister, the Margravine of Anspach, had with 
the Baron. Be this, however, as it may, certain 
it is that Ulrica bore undoubted marks of her 
father's resentment to the grave ; and the pre- 
valent account is, that these marks were got in 
being thrown out of the window of her apart- 
ment, after which she was taken up lifeless, and 
remained defective in shape to her dying day. 

This lady was married in the year 1751, to 
the before-mentioned monarch, Adolphus Fre- 

o 2 


derick of Sweden, and by him she had four 
children: — Giistaviis, who succeeded his father, 
and was treacherously murdered at a masque- 
rade at the theatre of Stockholm, by the regi- 
cide Ankerstrom ; Charles, Duke of Suderma- 
nia, who, having dethroned his nephew, reigned 
under the usurped title of Charles XIII. ; Fre- 
derick, Duke of Austragozia, who died at Mont- 
pelier, in France ; and a princess called Sophia 
Albertina, who was co-abbess with her late 
royal cousin, the Duchess of York. 

In the year 1796, when I was about making 
my northern tour, her Royal Highness the 
Duchess of York, as I have before stated, ho- 
noured me with letters for the Princess Sophia, 
Avliich procured me at the Court of Sweden a 
most gracious reception, and much informa- 
tion, the substance whereof is thus desultorily 

The eldest son of Adolphus Frederick and 
Ulrica, Gustavus III., having in his turn in- 
termarried with a Danish princess, abstained, 
as we have already seen, from the chaste bed 
of his newly married Queen, and hence, after a 
considerable la])se of time, it appeared that there 
was a small cliance of lieirs to the royal house 
of Sweden — tlie young bride not choosing to 
adopt the suggestion of Louis ^Y. who, on 


receiving from his sister, the Duchess of Parma, 
a complaint that her husband had acted in a 
similar respectful manner, told her Highness 
that a prudent princess could never stand in 
need of an heir. 

It is true, the maternal solicitude of Ulrica 
was not bounded by the achievements or defal- 
cations of her eldest son. Prince Charles, his 
brother, had likewise entered the '' holy" state 
of matrimony. But, alas ! here was little ac- 
cession of comfort ! for the Duke and Duchess 
of Sudermania had no better fortune than the 
King and Queen ; whilst the youngest, the 
Duke of Austragozia, exhibited a frail and 
delicate constitution, from which nothing de- 
sirable could be anticipated, even had he as- 
sumed the bands of wedlock. 

This deficiency of successors in the male line 
of the Swedish Royal Family, was however 
abundantly compensated, as far as numbers 
went, by the prolific qualities of that tender- 
hearted lady, Sophia Albertina. The Queen 
Dowager, grown hopeless at length of any heirs 
on the part of her sons, and naturally desirous 
to prevent the crown from lapsing into the 
hands of a stranger, sagaciously turned her 
thoughts towards this fruitful quarter. The 
lady abbess had, according to report, been 


privately married to an officer in the King's 
Guards, and, whether this on dit be correct or 
not, a becoming and courtier-like faith in the 
matter will be at any rate most charitable. 

Ulrica therefore, perfectly well aware of the 
exactitude of her daughter's rehgious observ- 
ance of the sacred command " Increase and 
multiply," prevailed on the princess no longer 
to destine the fruits of her labours to her bro- 
ther's army, but to set aside the next comer 
as a future candidate for his throne. This ad- 
vice she urged the rather, perceiving the Lady 
Abbess to be then in a promising way ; and to 
insure success, she persuaded her daughter-in- 
law, the Duchess of Sudermania, to affect a 
virtue which she had not, and counterfeit both 
the appearance and conceits of pregnancy, a 
manoeuvre which the pride and vanity of this 
young princess, excited on the prospect of be- 
ing believed to bear a successor to the throne, 
induced her to give in to. Readily, therefore, 
did she sustain the dead weight of hidden 
cushions until the living substitute should be 
brought to light. 

All went on precisely as might be wished. 
The important fact of the duchess being en- 
ceinte was hailed by the rejoicing populace with 
every demonstration of satisfaction. The no- 


bility were on the alert. Prayers were offered 
up in every temple throughout the Swedish 
dominions, for the personal safety and prospe- 
rous delivery of the siiffeting princess ; and, in 
a word, the entire kingdom resounded with 
joyful acclamations. 

Meanwhile, *' the real Simon Pure" lived in 
complete retirement, totally secluded from the 
prying eye of impertinent curiosity. And 
now it becomes necessary for me to allude to a 
circumstance which must be known in order 
to understand what follows. Among the gen- 
tlemen whom Sophia had occasionalhj honoured 
with her favourable notice, was one of African 
origin. It may be thought strange by some 
that the princess should have exhibited this 
specimen of bad taste, and still stranger that 
she should not have been aware that the result 
of such a liaison could not possibly answer the 
end proposed by the Queen. She might pro- 
bably have placed small confidence in what 
blind Chance might effect. Certain, at any 
rate, it is, that while the anticipative fetes and 
prayers were going on, while the Queen-mo- 
ther was lauding her two obedient children, 
and while the sick duchess was assiduously 
fainting in public places, as becomes ladies in 
her supposed condition, an event occurred of 


a nature to overthrow all the plans of the con- 
spirators. The Princess Sophia was rather pre- 
maturely brought to bed of — a black child ! a 
complete woolly-headed monster ! What was 
to be done ? This, as was plain, could never be 
attempted to be palmed upon the Swedish na- 
tion, however passive and complying ; and in a 
fit of absolute despair the enraged mother, who 
had calculated on giving birth to a future mo- 
narch, is said to have got rid both of the ob- 
ject of her own shame and her mother's disap- 
pointment, by consigning the unlooked-for in- 
truder to the flames ! Thus terminated the 
princess's actual and the duchess's feigned 
pregnancy. But to keep up the farce to the last, 
prayers were now offered up in the churches 
for the restoration of her, whose life, it was 
said, had been endangered by giving birth to 
a still-born child. 

AVhether Gustavus and his brother, or either 
of them was aware of this scheme on the part 
of their royal mother, to introduce contraband 
goods, and save them the trouble of provid- 
ing lieirs from their own loins, has never been 
clearly demonstrated. The circumstances, how- 
ever, are no secret at Stockliolm, and were 
communicated to the writer by a relation of 


the late Baron d'Armfeldt, whilst she was pre- 
sent upon the scene of action. 

yVe have previously touched upon the cir- 
cumstances attending the reconciliation of 
Gustavus III. to his unoffending bride, and 
his mysterious visits to her chamber. We 
have seen how tlie Count de JMunck, then per- 
haps the handsomest young man about court, 
was implicated by the emissaries of the Queen- 
mother, in consequence of his constant atten- 
dance upon his royal master on these nightly 
excursions. The reports she caused to be cir- 
culated regarding this subject have been abun- 
dantly disproved, and that by the authority of 
those whose knowledge of the facts cannot be 
questioned, from their having been in the 
perfect confidence of Gustavus — namely, the 
Duke of Austragozia and others. 

On receiving from his Queen an intimation 
that her INIajesty felt herself in that state 
wherein " all ladies wish to be who love their 
lords," Gustavus lost no time in communicating 
the important intelligence to the Queen-dow- 
ager, his other royal relatives, the courtiers, 
and, in fact, by proclamation, to the king- 
dom at large. He would even at reviews 
tell his guards, the common soldiers, of his 


good luck, which, although tardy, seemed at 
length certain. His enthusiasm and joy on the 
occasion was commensurate, indeed, in its ex- 
travagance, with the eccentricity of his pre- 
vious conduct. It resembled somewhat that 
of the unfortunate Queen of France, Marie An- 
toinette, who, after having waited in fond ex- 
pectation for some time, when she really found 
herself about to become a mother, was anxious 
that the very stones in the street should know 
that she was no longer to be numbered among 
the sterile and barren of the earth. She said 
to Mad. de Noailles, " Now I shall die happy, 
since I have given an heir to France !" It is 
melancholy to reflect on the fate of this long- 
wished-for son ; who, poor child ! had no soon- 
er passed his infancy, than, after seeing both 
his parents brought to the scaffold, and his 
family dispersed and proscribed, perished in 
a loathsome dungeon, surrounded by those 
who mocked, instead of sympathising with his 

When the spouse of our Swedish monarch 
drew near her accouchement^ he requested his 
mother. Queen Ulrica, to be present, with the 
rest of the royal family, at the labour of her 
Majesty, in order that she, the Queen-dowager, 
might be the first to present him with his child. 


This, however, she peremptorily refused in the 
following words, addressed to Count Fersen 
and Baron d'Armfeldt, who w^ere the King's 
messengers on the occasion : — " I shall not sanc- 
tion with my presence the birth of a spurious 
heir, who has no affinity to the royal house 
of Sweden. I am too well acquainted with 
the constitutional defects of the King to be 
thus imposed on !" As this reply was given 
before several others of the courtiers, besides 
those two already mentioned, it did not long 
remain a secret. 

This extraordinary fancy on the part of a 
mother to blacken the characters of two of her 
children, (for, as before hinted, the Duke of 
Sudermania had his share of the scandal,) 
broke off, as a matter of course, all further cor- 
respondence between them and Ulrica. It 
gave rise to a vast number of floating rumours, 
each of a darker tint than the former, which 
were industriously promulgated against the 
two princes ; while, in the judgment of all 
fair-minded persons whom the author has ever 
heard advert to the topic, these rumours had 
no better foundation than the groundless aver- 
sion of the amiable dowager, who would fain 
have exercised over Gustavus III. and his 
brothers, the same authority by which she em- 


bittered her liiisbancrs life, and wliich the 
superaniuiated in years and intellect are too 
often fond of striving to fasten upon those still 
in the prime and vigour of life and thought. 
We have already observed, that it is not ac- 
curatelv known whether or not Gustavus was 
aware, at the time, of the scheme manufactured 
by the Queen-dowager to introduce the off- 
spring of her daughter Sophia. The great pre- 
sumption is, that he v/as. Most certainly 
he instituted, directly after, a strict system of 
espionnage, both over the conduct of his mother 
and the lady abbess. 

The Duke of Austragozia, who was one of 
the best-bred princes and most gentlemanly 
men of his time, and whom the Authoress met 
many years after these disgraceful family broils, 
while his Royal Highness was stopping for his 
health in the South of France, assured her that 
his brother, the Duke of Sudermania (the late 
Charles XIII.) was so disgusted with the du- 
chess his wife, when the knowlege readied him 
of her having connived at the nefarious prac- 
tices of Ulrica and Sophia, that he was desirous 
of being divorced, and having her confined for 
life. The King, however, objected to any pub- 
lic investigation of tlie suspected fraud ; for, 
altlioiigh wishing so far to prove the intrigues 


of his mother, as to feel justified in dooming her' 
to a constant residence at her country seat, he 
was unwilling to press a charge of conspiracy, 
which would have seriously implicated all three 
of the princesses. 

This moderation on the part of Gustavus 
was highly approved of, when made known to 
his royal uncle, the Great Frederick of Prussia, 
who wrote to Queen Ulrica, recommending her 
to live in harmony with her children, and par- 
ticularly with Gustavus himself, telling her, at 
the same time, that she could have no claim 
in the sympathies or services of a brother, if 
she overlooked the duty owed by her, both as 
mother and subject, to the King of Sweden. 
" This letter," added the Duke of Austragozia, 
" had a powerful effect on the futvire conduct 
of her Majesty the Queen Ulrica," who, having 
presumed that Frederick would protect her 
against Gustavus, became, when she discovered 
her error, less intriguing and more cautious, 
howbeit she was never thoroughly reconciled 
to either of her calumniated sons. Aware that 
she was watched in all her movements, she 
now rarely came, even on a visit, to the royal 
palace at Stockholm ; and her indulgent son, 
requiring nothing more than this reasonable 
forbearance, continued to allow her, during the 


remainder of her life, every privilege appertain- 
ing to her royal birth and station. 

In short, the dark and foul miscellaneous in- 
trigues of a court can scarcely be credited but 
by such as have mixed in the crowd and bustle 
thereof. That most diabolical of passions, am- 
bition to rule, poisons all the sources of gene- 
rous or virtuous feeling, chills the kindly cha- 
rities of kindred, and places the heart of a de- 
mon within the bosom which should enshrine 

In the year 1803, being at Paris, and, dining 
at a French banker's, T encountered there my 
old acquaintance. General Baron d'Armfeldt, 
at that time the clier ami of the Princess de 
Rohan, better known by her own title, the 
Duchess of Sagan. This accomplished and 
beautiful lady, daughter of the last Duke of 
Courland, and to whom also I was well known, 
sent me an invitation to dine with them at 
their magnificent hotel in the Rue Royale, 
and I went rather early, in order to have a 
long conversation, we not having met since 
the year 1794, at Naples. 

The Duchess not having returned from her 
morning ride, the Baron proposed to take a 
drive before dinner as far as tlie Bois de Bou- 
logne. After having discussed at full the se- 

BARON d'armfeldt. 207 

vera! merits and fortunes of our Italian ac- 
quaintances, (the topic generally uppermost in 
the Baron's mind,) the affairs of Sweden na- 
turally suggested themselves. D'Armfeldt, as 
might have been anticipated, inveighed most 
strongly against the treatment he had expe- 
rienced at the hands of the Duke of Suder- 
mania, who, whilst Regent of Sweden, had 
banished him, confiscated a considerable por- 
tion of his estate, and forbidden him, on pain 
of death, to return to his native country. Pro- 
clamations to this effect were issued by the go- 
vernment at Stockholm, and posted at various 
places on the confines of the kingdom, where 
he was obliged to separate from his wife, the 
Countess Delagardi, and their family. 

Having discoursed of his own affairs. Baron 
d'Armfeldt adverted to others of a more gene- 
ral nature, which he prefaced by producing cer- 
tain letters from Count Erval Fersen and others, 
in one of which, Fersen observes, "Armfeldt 
will one day be sacrificed to this man's thirst 
for power," (meaning the Duke of Sudermania) 
" as well as myself." These letters described 
in detail the intrigues instituted by Charles, 
for thwarting the marriage of his nephew with 
the Princess of Mecklenburgh, as has hereto- 
fore been explained, and add that, at first the 


Empress Catherine, whilst she thanked the 
Duke for his friendly zeal, declined acting 
upon it, alleging as her reason, that the Rus- 
sian Grand-duchess was not yet of a marriage- 
able age. JNIeanwhile, the contract with the 
Princess of Mecklenburgh arrived at the Swedish 
capital, to the great joy of its inhabitants, who 
viewed in the proposed match a union conso- 
nant to the true interests of Sweden as an in- 
dependent state, since a connexion with Meck- 
lenburgh could not, in all probability, be sad- 
dled with any injurious influences, such as 
those had been with Prussia and Denmark. 
As for Russia, the people combined to view 
an alliance with that overgrown empire with 
the most jealous eyes, as calculated to interfere 
with, and ultimately perhaps to annihilate, the 
independence of their country. 

The process of this business has already been 
laid before the reader in a straight-forward 
way. What we are aiming at here, is to give 
him the advantage of such side-winds as may 
waft a more complete and intimate acquaintance 
with the less obvious circumstances attendant 
on it. The character of Charles, Duke of Suder- 
mania, subsequently Charles XIII., will hence be 
more clearly developed, and stand up, as is fit, 
to public execration. It might surely have been 


expected that, after suffering himself through 
the artful intrigues of a near relative, he would 
abstain from visiting upon his comparatively- 
helpless charge a similar course of evils. But 
no ! from the very commencement of the ex- 
ercise of his delegated functions, to the mo- 
ment when he gained the summit of his am- 
bition by ascending the throne of Sweden, he 
was the constant, unvarying, and unrelenting 
enemy of the nephew whom he was bound 
by every law, human and divine, to protect, 
but whom, on the other hand, he never ceased 
to vilify, to persecute, and defame. 

Having failed in his first overture to the 
great Autocrat of Russia, Charles, fearing the 
completion of the agitated nuptials, (so well 
calculated to enhance the growing popularity 
of the young king,) made a second effort, in 
which he artfully excited the ambition of Ca- 
therine, by representing how much the project- 
ed union would tend to annul, or at least ren- 
der ineffectual, that authority " which," said 
he, " your Imperial Majesty has a right to ex- 
ercise over the affairs of Sweden." Catherine 
took fire at the voluntary concession of this 
imaginary right, by the Regent, who professed, 
in explanation thereof, to have discovered a 
document signed by his late royal brother, 

vol.. I. p 


Gustavus III., wherein he expresses in une- 
quivocal terms, his will that his son and heir 
should not intermarry with any other Princess 
until the Empress had formally refused to give 
him the Russian Grand-duchess. This pre- 
tended document has been since proved to be a 
mere forgery of Charles. 

Catherine, as we have seen, now thought 
proper to interfere. Gustavus repaired to the 
Russian capital, and the charms of his new 
mistress, together with the caresses lavished 
on him by the Empress, soon induced him to 
merge every other consideration in that of the 
indulgence of his choice. 

The Duke now began to breathe freely, un- 
der the firm persuasion that his nephew had 
swallowed the bait, and entangled himself in 
the meshes of that net which was to draw him 
on to his destruction. Well convinced of the 
odium which Gustavus would incur by prose- 
cuting this Russian alliance, he wrote secretly 
to Stockholm, intimating his apprehension that 
the King had become so infatuated with the 
Empress's grand-daughter, as not only to have 
compromised the established religion of Swe- 
den, but to have actually apostatized to the 
Greek Church ; concluding by an entreaty to 
his friends, to exert all their influence over 


the clergy of Sweden, for the purpose of op- 
posing this violation, on the part of his Ma- 
jesty, of their ancient laws and worship. 

To Catherine herself he held out language 
very different. When she wished to be in- 
formed how far she might enforce the interest 
of the bride-elect in matters of rehgion, the 
crafty Duke advised her to say nothing to 
Gustavus on the subject, but (as has been seen) 
to get a clause to that effect subsequently 
and surreptitiously introduced, hoping that the 
king might thus be overreached ; in which 
event this Richard of the North would doubt- 
less himself have protested against his nephew, 
and proclaimed him to have vacated the throne. 
He ultimately obtained what he sought for, 
but not in this instance, wherein his machina- 
tions were frustrated by the spirit and promp- 
titude of Gustavus, whose hasty flight from 
Saint Petersburgh appears to have been stimu- 
lated by certain unguarded expressions that 
dropped from one of the courtiers, whereby he 
was led to believe that his uncle purposed leav- 
ing him as a hostage in the hands of the Russian 
Government, should he persevere in resisting 
the Empress. The Duke had indeed previ- 
ously offered to cede to Catherine perpetually, 
the entire province of Finland, in case any 

p 2 


unforeseen accident happening to Gustavus, 
should place it in the power of the Empress to 
guarantee him (Charles) quiet possession of the 
remaining dominions of Sweden. 

Such was the substance of these interesting 
communications, from which the Baron d'Arm- 
feldt politely suffered the Authoress to make 
such extracts as she deemed, coming from so 
undeniable a source, likely to prove interesting 
to the general reader. 



Characteristic Sketch of Count Erval Fersen. — His dis- 
interested attachment to Gustavus III. — Accompanies 
that Monarch to the various Courts of Europe. — His 
eclat at Versailles. — The King of Sweden and Marie An- 
toinette. — Defeated manoeuvre of Gustavus. — Count Fer- 
sen left behind, as ambassador to the French Court. — 
Confidence reposed in him by Louis XVI. — Glance at the 
earlier days of the French Revolution. — Specimens of the 
vacillating character of Louis. — The Queen at the Opera. — 
Prompt behaviour of Fersen. — Her Majesty accomplishes 
her retreat from the theatre. — Plot of the Crown Monopoly. 
— Real intentions of Louis in quitting France. — Scheme 
projected for that purpose by Fersen. — Frustrated by the 
violence of the mob. — Count ]\Iirabeau. — Fersen partakes 
the flight and return of the Royal Family, and afterwards 
escapes from France. — Previous quarrel on his account, 
between the Princess de Lamballe and the Duchess d'Or- 
leans. — Fersen nominated by his Sovereign Governor of 
Upsal. — His mission to Carlsbad, and its results. — Murder 
of a Republican emissary, and accusation of the Count. — 
His innocence manifested — Congress at Rastadt, and po- 
licy of Sweden at that period. — Conduct of Fersen re- 
lative to the disputes between Gustavus Adolphus and 
Charles XIII. — Dethronement of the former. — Fersen's 
spirited remonstrance and subsequent insurrection. — His 
death, and that of the Prince of Augustenberg. 

Before we quit the present division of our 
subject, I will give a brief sketch of the life 


and character of an individual who figured 
in a most prominent manner on the scene of 
the French Revolution — Count Erval Fersen, 
whose name has already occurred in these 
pages, and of whom so mucli has been said, 
both of good and evil. 

It seems to be the inevitable lot of distin- 
guished men to excite in others some of the 
worst passions of our common nature — misre- 
presentation and slander. " Be thou as pure as 
snow," says Hamlet to Ophelia, " thou shalt 
not escape calumny." If, therefore, " these 
things be so," it is at once the privilege and 
duty of the honest biographer to strip off the 
veil wherewith the hand of malice may have 
obscured the good qualities of a man, and set 
them forth as conspicuously as a due regard to 
the dictates of immortal truth may sanction. 

Count Erval Fersen was the confidential 
companion and sincere friend of Gustavus III. 
We are aware that to apply the name of 
friend to the attendant of a king is hazard- 
ous. Princes seldom attract sufficient sympa- 
thy to give rise to the genuine feehngs of 
friendship, a sentiment of tender growth, and 
wliich requires, in its cultivation, a degree of 
affectionate familiarity incompatible with the 


relative situations of sovereign and subject. 
Kings too are apt to resent any thing at all 
resembling in its nature the levelling principle ; 
and hence it is at once singular and agreeable 
to reflect on the unremitting assiduity where- 
with Fersen attended the fortunes of his royal 
master, whom he accompanied in all his travels 
through Germany, France, and Italy : his po- 
lished manners, affkbility, and general know- 
ledge of mankind, added to his great erudition, 
soon becoming the theme of every cultivated 
and fashionable circle. It is therefore not to 
be wondered at, that a man adorned with these 
qualifications, to which were superadded all the 
graces of person, should be received with pecu- 
liar complacency at the sparkling and luxurious 
Court of Versailles. 

Gustavus, though apparently flattered and 
pleased at the reception of his favourite, was 
notwithstanding somewhat mortified on ob- 
serving the marked preference shown to that 
favourite in his own royal presence. He had, 
besides, (for kings are no more exempted from 
the frailties of nature than meaner men,) con- 
tracted a sort of tender liaison for the capti- 
vating Queen of Louis XVI., and found it pe- 
culiarly inconvenient to be constantly accom- 


panied by a man whose personal and mental 
accomplishments were decidedly superior to his 

One day, therefore, he contrived some mes- 
sage wherewith to despatch Fersen to the 
Duke de Penthievre, and, in the Count's ab- 
sence, screwed up his courage to the sticking- 
place, and made immediate way, unaccom- 
panied and uninvited, from the French metro- 
polis to Versailles. He knew that I^ouis was 
gone to RambouUet, and buoyed up his imagi- 
nation with hopes of tete-a-tete dinner with the 
then all-fascinating Marie Antoinette. " No- 
thing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice," 
should be the imvarying motto of historians, 
whether great or little. It is impossible we 
should determine what the precise views of 
this northern aspirant were ; but certain it is, 
that he was received with as much coldness 
and austerity as the sweet nature of JNIarie An- 
toinette would permit her to exercise toward 
her equal in rank ; and the intrusive monarch 
exhibited evident marks of confusion when 
Madame dc Lamballe was commanded by the 
Queen to make one of the party. (See Mar- 
dame de Campan's work on tliis subject.) 

Gustavus ap])ears to have felt too nmch re- 
buked on this occasion to hazard the presenting 


himself a second time in this particular manner, 
and he seems subsequently to have contentedly 
witnessed the preference almost universally 
awarded to his elegant courtier. When his Ma- 
jesty was on the point of quitting Paris, on his 
return to Stockholm, Count Erval Fersen was 
left behind, at the especial instance of Louis 
XVI., as Swedish Ambassador of the French 
court, and hence it was that he became mixed 
up in those portentous events which shortly 
after shook to its basis the whole fabric of civi- 
lized society in our quarter of the globe, and 
which have undoubtedly (however much it 
may be to the interest of the members of the 
Holy Alliance to conceal the fact,) operated, 
like a thunder-storm in the natural world, to 
clear the political atmosphere of Europe. 

Count Fersen had not resided long at Paris, 
in his new capacity, before his characteristic 
foresight enabled him to perceive the coming 
tempests, and he enlisted himself among the 
most confidential and ardent friends of the 
royal family. Happy had it been for that fa- 
mily, (perhaps for France,) had Louis been as 
ready to adopt the advice of his best and most 
sensible adherents as he was to apply for it; but 
his general want of vigour and promptitude, 
joined to his inherent aversion to reform abuses 


sanctioned by long- usage, prevented any chance 
of salutary effects springing from those sugges- 
tions which were kindly meant, and evinced 
both the wisdom and zeal of the advisers. He 
was in the habit, unfortunate man ! of seeking 
counsel from persons of different interests, by 
which he was of course impelled opposite ways, 
perplexed, confused, and rendered more inde- 
cisive than he was by natural constitution. He 
had at no period confidence in his own judg- 
ment ; and through another modification of the 
same weakness, he did not hesitate to compro- 
mise his real friends and advisers, by betraying 
their counsels, not with malice prepense, but in- 

Louis XVI., born and bred in the most 
despotic principles, and surrounded by all the 
splendour and aristocracy of la Grande Nation, 
was, at the period when he first conceded to all 
Frenchmen the right of liberty, himself the 
only Frenchman in a state of bondage. A 
great deal of allowance must be made on ac- 
coimt of the jealousy wherewith all his actions 
were scrutinized, although it must be admitted 
that this very jealousy sprang from the know- 
ledge so universally imbibed of the King's va- 
cillation. Thus, on the occasion of his Majesty 
accepting and signing the constitution, the 


Parisians were loud in expressing their doubts 
of the King's sincerity, nor would they be sa- 
tisfied of the adhesion of the Royal Family, 
unless they, as usual, showed themselves at the 
theatres and other places of public amusement. 

On the intimation of this wish on the part 
of the citizens of Paris, the courtiers were all 
taken aback, not knowing what to advise, and 
fearful of committing the royal family to the 
doubtful emotions of an excited populace. In 
the midst of this uncertainty, the Count Erval 
Fersen had the firmness to step forward from 
among those whose stations or sentiments at- 
tached them to the court, and boldly recom- 
mended the Queen to brave the possible danger, 
in the hope of allaying the obvious ferment. 
He expatiated on the evident ill consequences 
of a protracted refusal, and enforced his argu- 
ment with so much earnestness and good sense, 
that it was triumphant. I am desirous to lay 
the more stress on this circumstance, inasmuch as 
it proves, that while Fersen was in his inmost 
heart devoted to the interests and safety of the 
Royal Family of France, he was not the less 
anxious to conciliate the esteem of the people, 
and to ensure general peace and harmony. 

The Queen, therefore, was at his instance 
prevailed on ; and yielding, though contrary 


to her own wishes and feelmgs, to the sound- 
ness of Count Fersen's reasoning, went one 
night to the Opera. She was dressed in a sim- 
ple white robe, trimmed with deep red ribbons, 
and ornaments of a similar colour decorated 
her head-dress. Scarcely had she entered her 
box, when a universal cry arose from all quar- 
ters of the house, of " Down with the bloody 
colours ! Down with her who is decorated 
with the emblem of the blood of Frenchmen !" 
Fersen, who, with some other gentlemen of the 
co7ys diplomatique, was stationed behind her 
Majesty in the same box, assisted Marie An- 
toinette in divesting herself of these offensive 
ornaments, and laid them aside. His fii'st im- 
pulse was, indeed, to throw them into the pit 
among the malcontents ; but the Queen, lay- 
ing her hand upon his arm, exclaimed, — " For 
Heaven's sake, Sir, abstain ! They would then 
be still more vociferous, and say / tread under 
foot the blood of the nation." 

On the royal party leaving the theatre, after 
having supported the most scurrilous abuse 
to the end of the performance, the National 
Guards, in order to prevent the brutal mob 
from committing still farther outrage, formed, 
with their drawn swords, a complete arch, be- 
neath whicli the unfortunate Queen passed on 


to her carriage. Fersen, having been near her 
Majesty the whole of the evening, and being 
much mortified and extremely indignant at 
what he had witnessed, was unable to conceal 
his chagrin. He spake not with words, it is 
true ; but his expressive countenance suffi- 
ciently demonstrated the state of his feelings. 
" I hope now. Count," observed Marie An- 
toinette, in a sad voice, " you will be convinced 
that I can no longer appear in public with any 
safety." — " I am grieved," replied he, " in being 
compelled to admit that your Majesty is right. 
Nevertheless, I feel equally certain, that had 
your Majesty not appeared at the theatre, the 
ferment would have been still more dangerous. 
The insults you have received to-night, how- 
ever galling and unprovoked, are at the same 
time, only transitory, and your good sense will 
teach you to despise them. The torrent, if 
further dammed up, might have forced a vent, 
fatal, perhaps, instead of annoying, to you and 
your family." 

This scene at the theatre had, I have reason 
to know, a considerable influence in deciding 
the French King to withdraw from his capital. 
In taking that step, the Count Erval Fersen 
was the individual to whom Louis applied to 
procure him the necessary passports. The 


Count, who was at the time in the fullest con- 
fidence of the ill-fated monarch, has repeat- 
edly declared, that whatever might be the ge- 
neral impression, it was by no means Louis's 
intention to quit France altogether, but merely 
to place his wife and family out of danger. 
His Excellency often, subsequently, in the 
most solemn manner, affirmed, that had the 
King succeeded in conducting his beloved 
cliarge safely to Brussels or Vienna, his purpose 
was firmly bent to return ; and, as he would 
then have had nothing to fear but for him- 
self,— to march, at the head of his army, against 
both foreign and domestic foes ; against all 
those whose views were directed to the disturb- 
ance of the internal tranquillity of France. 

Fersen, therefore, to avoid giving any cause 
of suspicion to the National Assembly, and at 
the same time better to serve the Royal Fa- 
mily, carefully abstained from publicly joining 
any of the Queen's parties, whilst, however, he 
became assiduous in his attendance on another 
illustrious victim, the late Princess de Lam- 
balle. This lady might really have been termed 
the very shadow of the Queen, or rather the life 
and soul of every thing affecting the interest 
or comfort of her royal ])atroness. Slie may 
indeed be said to have been the only true 


female friend that daughter of Imperial Austria 
ever had. Fersen's attentions to her must not 
be misconstrued. They partook not of the cha- 
racter so common to the regards of courtiers ; 
they wore not the impress of idle gallantry. 
They were sacred to disinterested friendsliip ; 
to heroic endeavours for the service of a help- 
less, persecuted Queen : a solicitude greatly in- 
creased on the discovery of the Palais lloyal con- 
spiracy, levelled especially at Marie Antoinette, 
and a knowledge of which was sufficient to 
prompt any really humane man to oppose with 
all his might the machinations of those who 
abused the term of Liberty, by making it a 
cover for the most atrocious licence. 

In order to obtain as much information as 
possible, tlie Count expended considerable sums 
upon several subordinate members of that un- 
holy plot, and through their agency discovered 
the details of the infamous scheme. It appears 
that the object was, to reduce to starvation the 
whole population of Paris, by a scandalous mo- 
nopoly of corn, which monopoly they imputed 
to tlic Queen, causing their emissaries to as- 
sume her liveries. This plan was defeated by 
Fersen, who communicated it to all the minis- 
ters residing in Paris, both French and foreign. 

Disappointed in their views, these wretches, 


in revenge propagated a report that Fersen 
had become the received paramour both of the 
Queen and Madame de Lamballe, while in 
honest truth he was nothing more than the 
common impartial friend of humanity, in ex- 
posing to public scorn and ignominy the real 
projectors of the abominable crime of starv- 
ing, for vile party purposes, the inhabitants of 
a great capital. By his prompt, energetic, and 
fearless conduct, he, in fact, was the instru- 
ment of preventing much suffering, and of 
saving an almost incalculable number of vic- 
tims, who would otherwise have perished for 
want of bread. 

Ill-founded as it was, however, this report 
touching the gallantry between Madame de 
Lamballe and the Count de Fersen, occasioned 
an open rupture between that lady and her 
sister-in-law, the Duchess of Orleans, two prin- 
cesses who had been warmly attached to each 
other. So offended was the formei* at the 
countenance given by her relative to these un- 
just insinuations, that she absolutely forbade 
the visits of the children of Madame d'Orleans, 
who up to that time had been in the constant 
liabit of visiting their aunt. 

Fersen himself, the Queen, and the Duke 
de Penthievre, father-in-law to Madame de 


Lamballe, all of them opposed this sudden re- 
solution on her part ; the latter, in particular, 
who loved the princess as though she were his 
own child, and by whom he was beloved with 
similar earnestness. Indeed, Madame de Lam- 
balle never, after the untimely death of her 
young husband, quitted the duke, his father, 
(except to do her duty at court,) until that 
fatal 10th of August 1792, when they were 
separated to meet no more in this sublunary 
state. Fersen foresaw all the scandal and evil 
consequences likely to result from this obvious 
breach between the sisters, both of whom stood 
so forward in the public eye — a breach which 
certainly was one of the chief causes and pre- 
tences for the barbarous murder of the princess. 
The Duchess of Orleans had, it is true, been 
from the first no less apprehensive of evil, and 
implored the Queen's mediation : but Madame 
de Lamballe persisted, and told the Queen that 
her motives were prudential and not vindictive. 
Be this as it may, however, the anti-royal party 
from that time threw aside all reserve, and openly 
studied every description of insult which they 
could accumulate upon the unfortunate Royal 
Family whenever either of its members appear- 
ed at the windows, or in the garden of the 

VOL. I. Q 


Under these circumstances, therefore, Louis 
renewed his entreaties to the Swedish ambas- 
sador, to procure the passports; and Fersen 
himself, persuaded that no time was to be lost 
in the present critical situation of things, readily 
undertook to make the necessary arrangements 
for the Royal Family to quit the metropolis. 
This, it is true, was not very easily to be exe- 
cuted ; but when a man's interest is truly awa- 
kened, particularly if he is a man of energy, 
and if his best feelings are enlisted in the cause, 
his courage and resolution are likely to increase 
with increasing difficulty. 

And these difficulties were neither few nor 
slight. General de la Fayette was then in com- 
mand of the National Guards, who, by virtue 
of an ordinance of the Assembly, were changed 
every hour. No plan of assistance could there- 
fore be trusted to them, since, if the universal 
agent, gold, had been put freely into action, 
there was no time for it to work. The scru- 
ples of Mirabeau were, it is pretty generally 
understood, overcome by such means, and, on 
the payment of a considerable sum, he entered 
into the project of their escape. Aware that 
this fact has been often disputed, I am ready 
to vouch for its accuracy ; and were M. La- 
borde living, he could name the exact amount, 


since it passed through that gentleman's hands. 
Mirabeau cared not, abstractedly, a single franc 
for the safety of either member of the Royal 
Family at that period, although he afterwards 
became so much interested for the person of 
the Queen, merely that through her Majesty he 
might influence the measures of the King, in 
case his plans had succeeded for the overthrow 
of the National Assembly. I do not here ad- 
vance a single syllable which I have not heard 
from the mouths of parties who actually treated 
with Count Mirabeau for the price of his ab- 

A nobleman called Pisani, ambassador from 
the Venetian republic to the court of Versailles, 
had a town house, the gardens of which com- 
municated with those of the Tuileries. With 
this man Fersen was extremely intimate, and 
without stating his motives, he reqviested the 
loan of the residence in question during Pisani's 
absence in the country. The wish was no sooner 
expressed than it was conceded, and a garden key 
handed to the Count, by means of which egress 
and ingress might be commanded to and from 
the gardens of the palace. This was precisely 
what Fersen wanted. 

The Royal Family, grown timid and nervous 
in consequence of the repeated cruel persecutions 

Q 2 


to which they had been exposed by the hired 
bravoes of the factious parties, and the wretches 
of sans culottes, had latterly abstained from 
walking in the gardens until the hour had ar- 
rived at which they were cleared and the gates 
shut. Fersen had taken eare to provide car- 
riages to go and come to and from the house of 
Pisani for several preceding days, in order that 
there should be no singularity apparent when 
these vehicles were really put in requisition for 
the meditated purpose. Indeed, every precau- 
tion that thoughtfulness or prudence could dic- 
tate was adopted, for the Swedish nobleman was 
not a man to engage hotly in any measure, and 
to cool as quickly as he had been ignited. 

Through the house of Pisani, it was ar- 
ranged that Louis, Marie Antoinette, and their 
family, were to pass to the carriages in wait- 
ing, instead of returning from their evening 
promenade into the apartments of the palace. 
Every thing w^as prepared, and the time fixed ; 
but, unfortunately, the whole scheme was frus- 
trated in the following manner. On the very 
day agreed upon, the mob had been so violently 
exasperated against Monsieur and INladame VetOy 
as they denominated the royal couple, that the 
Queen was obliged to have her bed-chamber 
surrounded by National Guards, and dared not 


leave its sanctuary from fear of assassination, 
much less was she in a condition to take her 
customary exercise for three or four days fol- 

The weak-minded and unfortunate King was 
now so thoroughly terrified, that he lost all 
power of judgment or discretion. Impelled 
by his fears, he no sooner found his wife at all 
able to join the expedition, than he determined 
on hazarding it. The necessary arrangements 
were this time planned by himself, and were 
characterized by no one principle of caution or 
foresight. The carriages were ordered to at- 
tend at a given hour, at one of the gates of 
the palace itself, and their preparation and arri- 
val were thus known to at least fifteen or six- 
teen individuals. Through the apartments of 
the Duke de Villequier the sad party proceeded 
to embark on their fatal purpose, and took their 
seats in the several carriages with little more 
secrecy than if they had been going to the 
Opera ! 

We have no intention to expatiate on scenes 
which, it may be fairly supposed, are already 
familiar to our readers. The French Revolu- 
tion, in all its stages, is now pretty well under- 
stood, at all events with regard to its general 
features, although the filling-up of the picture 


has given rise to a huge mass of misrepresenta- 
tion and prejudiced mistake. It is only so far 
as the hero of the present sketch is involved in 
its early progress, that we are desirous of re- 
verting to circumstances which a well-regu- 
lated mind cannot fail to think of with regret 
and indignation. 

Fersen, then, had only been apprised of the 
second meditated escape of the Royal Family, in 
sufficient time to enable him to take his seat 
on the coach -box and drive them out of Paris. 
In short, so ill-concerted was the whole affair, as 
to render it by no means a subject of wonder, 
that the fugitives were stopped before they 
could cross the French frontier. When the 
Royal Family were confusedly making their 
way through the long gallery of the Tuileries^ 
it was past ten ; ere the carriages had cleared 
off, it was near eleven ; and a very little after 
midnight, all the bells of Paris were set in 
motion to give the alarm of the flight of the 
descendant of St. Louis from the capital of his 
forefathers, to which he was shortly after re- 
conducted, like a vanquished prisoner ; while 
Fersen thought himself happy in effecting his 
own retreat from a country wherein his royal 
friends were captives, subjected to every species 
of insult ; and a dungeon would soon have 


been considered the only fitting receptacle for 

I shall never forget that night on which 
Louis XVI., his wife, and children, were 
brought back to Paris. Several confidential 
friends of Fersen, Madame de Stael, Monsieur 
de Chenon, the late Duke of Richlieu, and 
myself, all witnessed the melancholy scene. 
Fallen majesty has been proverbially held to 
excite compassion and respect ; but, alas ! in 
the present instance, the stern and unrelenting 
fury of the populace was but too sure a prog- 
nostic of the approaching destruction of its 

It became now almost universally known to 
the heads of the revolutionary faction, that 
Count Erval Fersen was one of their most 
active, as well as most determined opponents ; 
that it was by his means the plot respecting 
the corn monopoly was detected and defeated ; 
that he had been the principal agent in drawing 
over Mirabeau to the royal interest ; and, finally, 
that he was prominently instrumental in aiding 
the projected flight of the King and his family. 
It will not, therefore, appear singular that he 
should be regarded by the Jacobins with a vin- 
dictive eye. 

It has been commonly affirmed, that the 


passports provided by the Count were made 
out in the name of a Madame Scabrasky. That 
lady, however, was herself never in France ; 
she was the last favourite of Stanislaus Ponia- 
towski, and known to Fersen, at whose request 
an English lady assumed her title, and applied 
for the passports. 

All these circumstances combined, as I be- 
fore stated, to induce the Swedish ambassador 
to withdraw himself, as soon as he possibly 
could, from the French territory. Pisani, the 
Venetian ambassador, Madame de Stael, Mon- 
sieur de Chenon, and the fictitious Madame de 
Scabrasky, were the only persons who saw him 
after his fatal return from Varennes to Paris, 
which latter place he left on foot, to travel 
to St. Denis, whence, changing his route, he 
journeyed on to join the late King, Louis 
XVIIl., and his present Majesty, Charles X. 

This most interesting period of the event- 
ful life of Fersen exhibits many other circum- 
stances of moment, which, " if I list to speak," 
might, witli considerable effect, be placed be- 
fore the reader. But they are so mixed up 
with matters relating to the royal branch of 
Orleans, that I forbear, from a feeling of grati- 
tude and respect for its existing members. 
Mine is not a disposition to forget any acts of 


kindness extended to me, whether from the 
exalted in rank, or from those " of low estate ;" 
and the cordial hospitality I experienced at the 
hands of the Orleans family, during my resi- 
dence at Palermo, renders me anxious to avoid 
giving them the slightest ground of offence* 
By this feeling I was influenced in repressing 
many parts and softening others, of the MS. 
of my ever-to-be-lamented friend and bene- 
factress, their late aunt, the Princesse de Lam- 
balle, to whose virtuous memory I am proud 
to attribute the attentions with which I was 

Fersen's figure was calculated to strike any 
body who had once seen it, he being remarkably 
handsome, and upwards of six feet high. To 
conceal it, therefore, when accomplishing his 
escape from France, he assumed the disguise of 
a beggar, wearing a bandage over one eye, and 
having a wooden leg fastened to one of his 
knees. Thus, lame and blind, he was engaged 
for several days in traversing the country, un- 
til, finding himself out of danger, he procured 
a carriage, and was safely conducted to Stock- 
holm. Pisani, thinking himself in some de- 
gree compromised, lost no time in departing 
from Paris for the coast, where, with his three 
children, he embarked for London. 



Fersen, on arriving at his birth-place, was 
received by the King of Sweden, Gustavus 
Adolphus, in the most gracious and distin- 
guished manner, and soon after appointed to 
the government of Upsal. Here he resided 
until, for the benefit of his health, he came to 
Carlsbad in Bohemia, and thence proceeded on 
a private mission from his sovereign to the 
Duke and Duchess of Baden, the Queen's fa- 
ther and mother.* By mere accident he found 
himself at the country residence of these po- 
tentates, where was carried on the first famous 
mock congress between the French Republic 
and the German Princes. It is well known 
that one of the democratical envoys of the Re- 
public was, doubtless from some political mo- 
tive, waylaid and murdered on his return from 
Radstadt to Paris ; but it is perhaps not so 
generally understood, that this abominable 
crime was perpetrated by his own partisans, 

* Frederica, formerly Princess of Baden, and now Queen 
de jure of Sweden, is sister to the Empress-consort of Russia, 
(widow of the late Alexander) and also to the existing Queen 
of Bavaria. Her brother was first Grand-duke of Baden, 
which augmentation of title he received at the hands of Na- 
poleon, in consequence of his having assisted in the arrest of 
the Duke d'Enghien, and married a niece of Josephine. — 
Queen Frederica is now living, with the Princesses her 
daughters, at Carlsruhe, her birth-place. 



who were probably of opinion that he had 
scrutinised too much, and become acquainted 
with more than it was intended he should 

The hatred felt by the French Revolutionists 
to all kingly governments, and to all subjects 
who retained their allegiance, induced them to 
charge the commission of this murder upon 
the other members of the corps diplomatique 
generally, and upon their old enemy. Count 
Erval Fersen, in particular, although that no- 
bleman was at the time exercising no public 
function, and could not, therefore, be imagined 
to feel any lively interest in the hfe or death 
of the whole diplomatic body; and although 
his character for honour and humanity was 
high even amongst his political opponents. 
Yet, though his innocence, and indeed that of 
the entire body of plenipotentiaries, was clearly 
established by the subsequent arrest of the real 
hired assassin, this circumstance, together with 
his proved friendship for the late unfortunate 
family of Louis XVI. has frequently since 
given cause for Count Fersen to be accused 
of some conspiracy or other, of which he had 
never even dreamt ! — As soon as his freedom 
from the foul charge before alluded to was sa- 
tisfactorily shown, he departed from Baden for 


Stockholm, and then resumed his station as 
governor of Upsal. 

On the second congress being assembled at 
Radstadt, Count Fersen was prevailed on by his 
sovereign, Gustavus, to represent that monarch. 
He was charged not only to exert all his diplo- 
matic ability for the preservation of the King's 
German provinces, but also to use the strongest 
endeavours to secure the independence of Italy ; 
Gustavus Adolphus perceiving that the subju- 
gation and parcelling out of that fine coun- 
try, either by France or Austria, would tend 
materially to affect the balance of power in 
Europe, and give an unjust preponderance 
to whichever of these great powers should 
succeed in obtaining the desired prize. He 
had compared and deduced, and from that pro- 
cess saw, from these evils entailed on the North 
of Europe by the partition of Poland, that a 
similar train would be attendant in the South, 
on the division of Italy. 

Fersen, having submitted these considera- 
tions, went on to show, by means of the sound- 
est logic, how pernicious must be the result to 
all Europe, if either Austria or France were 
allowed to wield exclusive sovereignty over 
the Italian States, demonstrating how beneficial 
the freedom and independence of those States 


would be to every trading nation of Europe. 
He enlarged on the commercial value of their 
ports, especially those of the Adriatic, of the 
Grecian Islands belonging to the Venetian 
States, and that of Genoa in the Mediterra- 

He called particularly on the British Govern- 
ment to consider the situation and facilities of 
those ports ; which facilities, he observed, would, 
under Austria, be entirely engrossed by the 
plodding inhabitants of Trieste, to the utter 
loss of the merchants of the United King- 

Finding all the influence of his disinterested 
sovereign, together with his own arguments, 
unavailing, in consequence of the powerful po- 
litical majority enrolled against him, he left the 
Congress, disgusted with the opposition he had 
encountered to the politics of the North : and 
on his return to Sweden, reassumed his post 
at Upsal, where he quietly continued to the 
great advantage of the King's service. His 
enlarged experience, benignant disposition, and 
general knowledge of men and things, afforded 
to those under his management the most solid 
benefit, until he was once more called upon to 
take part in a more active scene, on account of 
the differences which began to manifest them- 


selves between Gustavus Adolphus and his un- 
cle, the Duke of Sudermania. 

Every tie of personal attachment, regard for 
the memory of the King's father, his ancient 
friend, and conviction that the cause of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus was that of justice, combined 
to induce Count Fersen to adopt the royal in- 
terest. He knew the manner in which Charles 
had tyrannised over his nephew's boyhood, and 
the unfounded rumours that he had never scru- 
pled to disseminate, even from the moment of 
the late King's death, against the character of 
his unoffending charge — exaggerating every 
trifling fault, and stamping the overboilings of 
youth with the character of confirmed depravity. 

When arrived at the scene of action, how- 
ever, Fersen soon perceived that the party en- 
listed under the banners of the ambitious Duke 
against the King's authority, was too powerful 
for him to entertain any hope of overcoming it. 
He therefore calmly submitted to the circum- 
stances of the times with the philosophical re- 
signation natural to a man whose experience 
had been so great in the vicissitudes of human 

No sooner had the Duke of Sudermania, un- 
der the title of Charles XIII. obtained supreme 
power in Sweden, than, not content with de- 


throning his nephew, he abused the authority 
he had usurped, by excluding the innocent issue 
of that nephew from succeeding, at any future 
day, to their father's lost inheritance ; for which 
purpose he nominated, as his son-in-law and 
heir, the Prince of Augustenberg. 

Had not this atrocious and wanton wrong 
been perpetrated, it is most possible that Fersen 
would never have taken an active part against 
the usurper. He thought that Charles would 
have limited his wishes to the sphere of his 
own personal enjoyment, and left the succession 
to the children of Gustavus ; flattering himself, 
too, perhaps, that, as the uncle was much the 
older man, Gustavus Adolphus himself might, 
on his death, reascend his forfeited throne, pu- 
rified by adversity, and summoned by the ac- 
clamations of the people. 

As it was, soon after this exclusion was pro- 
claimed. Count Erval Fersen entered the royal 
palace, and on his knees implored Charles XIII. 
not to obscure the first moments of his reign 
by an act of such glaring injustice, in thus set- 
ting aside the son of Gustavus Adolphus : for 
which act of spirited benevolence (miserable 
presumption !) he was severely repulsed, and 
even threatened with the punishment of instant 


Fired with indignation, and animated by the 
justice of his cause, he quitted the palace, and 
aware, in these circumstances, of the imminent 
danger of delay, proceeded to summon such of 
his friends as he had reason to think still pre- 
served in their hearts fidelity to their rightful 
sovereign. A party was in this way soon form- 
ed, to save their country from the dishonour of 
concurring in so cruel an act as setting aside 
the legitimate prince to exalt a foreigner. This 
band of loyal subjects was however soon over- 
powered by a mercenary troop brought over 
through means of that all-powerful argument, 
an increase of pay ; Fersen himself falling in 
the contest at Stockholm, and thus closing a 
life of honour and generous self-devotion by a 
death truly consistent, and a sacrifice to the 
principles of good faith. 

And, as if so ordained by the Supreme Be- 
ing, on the same day, and in that very contest, 
fell also the Prince of Augustenberg, who had 
been destined to succeed, in the honours he 
had rifled from another, this unnatural uncle — 
this " cutpurse of the empire and the rule !" 
Nor should we stop here in our reflections, but to 
call to mind that John Charles Bernadotte, the 
man who, by French influence, was appointed 
to stand in place of this same Prince of Angus- 


tenberg, ungratefully contributed, by joining, 
from selfish motives, the Allied Princes, to 
root out the main stock of usurpers, his own 
patron. Napoleon Bonaparte, whose once pow- 
erful hand had raised him to the throne of 





Axiom of Frederick the Great. — The appeal of General 
Swieten, and its reception. — The old Widow and her Se- 
venteen sons. — The veteran malcontent and his flight. — 
Frederick and Marshal Lowden at Potsdam. — The sign of 
" the Prasue." — The Countess de Vasse and the Baroness 
de Knoblsdroff. — Frederick I. and Charles VI, — A true 
Proi)hecy. — The Page and the cherries. — The Jew Banker. 
— A certificate for " value received." — Prussian coinage 
during the Seven Years' War. — A royal method of 
" Raising the Wind." 

Frederick of Prussia, commonly called the 
Great, was wont to say, " No war was ever 
carried on without spies, and no administration 
without corruption ;" and he certainly evinced 
his faith in this doctrine, by the measures he 
pursued. His favourite, General Swieten, who 
used to take considerable liberties on the strength 
of his favouritism, was bold enough to observe 
to the King one day, when the troops were in 


want of necessaries, and complaining,^ — that his 
Majesty spent more money in spies than he 
did in bread and clothing for his army. " You 
are a fool !" answered the King ; " a downright 
fool ! One piece of information, of the worth 
of 500 rix-doUars, has saved me a million of 
money and 10,000 men ! Don't talk to me of 
bread and clothing! — talk to me of advancing 
without bloodshed, and of saving my men. 
Their wants will be easily supplied when I 
know where the enemy's magazines are. My 
death's heads will soon fill their empty stomachs 
and purses too. You great fool ! how did I 
take possession of Saxony ? Not with my 
army, but with a gold cabinet-key." 

During the Seven Years' War, an old widow- 
woman came to Frederick to beg alms, telling 
him she had had twenty-four children, seven- 
teen of them sons, many of whom had served, 
and were then serving, in his Majesty's army. — 
"There's fifty dollars," said the King; "and 
come to Berlin, where you shall be well pro- 
vided for." 

The anecdotes of this powerful monarch 
and singular man are extremely numerous, 
and scattered through a great variety of works. 
In adding her little quota, the Authoress will 
scrupulously confine herself to such as she has 

R 2 


pretty good reason to believe have not hitherto 
been made public. 

When the King was besieging Prague, after 
having been repulsed in several successive en- 
gagements by Marshal Lowden, and compelled 
to make a very precipitate retreat, one of his 
old generals told him, one day, that the troops 
were murmuring, and beginning to be extremely 
restless. Frederick made no reply, as was cus- 
tomary with him when in any kind of uncer- 
tainty ; but scarcely had the sincere general 
taken his departure, than, disguising himself 
as effectually as possible, the eccentric monarch 
sallied out among his forces, to satisfy him- 
self if the report was correct. He found that it 
was but too true; and interrogating one of the 
soldiers as to the cause of this discontent, — 
" Why," replied the man, " the cause is pretty 
plain. We were beaten on Monday, on Tues- 
day, and again to-day ! By my soul ! if the 
same thing happen to-morrow, 1 11 fly the 
camp ! For old Frederick is no more to be seen, 
and some young booby of an ensign commands 

Frederick threw open his cloak, and, show- 
ing who he was, said, "Give me your hand, my I 
good fellow! only wait till Friday, and if we 
are beaten — egad ! we '11 fly the camp togetlier.' 


And, sure enough, they were beaten again, and 
Frederick was compelled to sound a retreat in 
the greatest possible disorder. 

As soon as the army was out of reach of the 
Austrians, Frederick inquired after the indivi- 
dual whose escape he had promised to partici- 
pate, and found that he had been killed in the 
hottest of the engagement, after dealing out 
death to several of the enemy. " Poor fellow !" 
exclaimed the King ; " he has fled farther than 
I, although I have ridden hard. I envy him 
so glorious an exit, and fear a similar one will 
never be mine ! Besides, what is worse, he has 
made me out a liar, for I promised him that 
we would fly together." " What !" said Swie- 
ten, " did your Majesty encourage desertion ?" 
" Why," rejoined Frederick, " when a common 
soldier had knowledge enough to tell me that 
my army was commanded by a parcel of boobies, 
it was time for me to take to my heels. Had 
a general told me as much, I would have had 
him shot !" " In that case," said Swieten, 
" pray place me for the future in the ranks, 
that I may find myself at liberty to tell you of 
your faults." " Go to the devil !" replied Fre- 
derick ; " I see them now myself. My promise 
to my poor soldier was but indifferently kept ; 
to his family I have made no promise, and 


therefore will endeavour to keep it.'' And he 
lost no time in providing for the veteran's sur- 

When the Seven Years' War was ended, and 
peace had been concluded, signed, and ratified 
between the great contracting powers of Aus- 
tria, France, and Prussia, the King invited 
Marshal Lowden to pass some time in his com- 
pany at Potsdam, where he was received with 
all the honours due to his rank and merits. 
On the King entering the banqueting-room 
the first day they dined together, the JNIarshal 
made a retrograde movement, to allow his Ma- 
jesty to pass. — " No ! no !" exclaimed Frede- 
rick, " I have had you too often akeady at my 
heels. Take your seat opposite me, that we 
may look one another in the face, like honest 
men. I like to have the enemy in front.'" 

While Frederick's army Avas in Silesia, his 
INIajesty would often go and chat with the 
common peasants, as well for entertainment as 
information, for he was of a disposition to ex- 
tract both the one and the other from whatever 
materials lay within his reach ; and at the first 
grand review which took place at Berlin, ob- 
serving one of his soldiers, whom he knew to 
be a brave man, but who, as Cowslip says in 
the " Agreeable Surprise," " would go any 


lengths for beer or ale," — to be very much slash- 
ed and cut in different parts of his body : " I 
say," asked the King, " at what tavern did you 
get those beautiful marks ?" — " At the sign of 
the Prague,'' answered the man, nothing daunt- 
ed, " where your Majesty paid the reckoning." 
— (It was at this city that Frederick was 
so signally defeated by Marshal Lowden.) — 
*' Bravo ! 3Ir. Captain /" replied Frederick, 
whose humour led him to approve of these 
sallies in the privates, although one of higher 
rank would have been most unceremoniously 
checked ; " Bravo ! M7\ Captain /" — And he 
did not use the term idly, for a commission 
was actually prepared in compliment at once, 
to the services and wit of his interlocutor. 

The Countess de Vasse and the Baroness de 
KnoblsdrofF, when his INIajesty was at Berlin, 
were in habits of great familiarity at Court. 
One morning they met in the King's ante- 
room, when his Majesty was somewhat out of 
humour, in consequence of receiving intelli- 
gence that the Empress of Russia had declared 
war against him, he being at the same time 
embroiled with the Empress Maria Theresa. 
** Lord ! Fritz !"* exclaimed the Countess, on 

* The familiar abbreviation of Frederick, in the German 


his INIajesty's issuing from his cabinet, " how 
you are altered!" — "I declare," echoed the 
Baroness, *' you look quite shockingly this 
morning." — " How the devil should I look 
otherwise ?" replied Frederick ; " I defy any 
man either to look or to feel well, bothered as 
I am between two ivomenr 

The father of the Great Frederick compelled 
him to marry a princess of Brunswick against 
his inclination, and to which he only consented 
through the mediation of the Emperor Charles 
VL, who interfered on finding that Frede- 
rick was about to be confined in the fortress 
of Spandau, which, as the prince was then in 
a state of ill health, might have been fatal to 
him. " Take care," said the father, on receiv- 
ing his Imperial Majesty's remonstrance, " that 
you do not one day or other repent of this in- 
tercession." And, sure enough, could Charles 
have lived to witness the inveterate opposition 
raised against his daughter, INIaria Theresa, by 
the prince he had probably saved, he would 
doubtless have recollected, with some bitter- 
ness, the half-prophecy of Frederick I. 

Frederick II. used frequently to tell his fa- 
ther — " You may compel me to marry, it is 
true, but it is out of your power to ensure the 
consummation of this marriage, and therefore 


you will be disappointed with respect to the 
royal heir you so anxiously look for." And he 
kept his word, though in all other respects he 
treated his virgin- wife with every mark of 
distinction and solicitude, never addressino- her 
vrithout taking off his hat, and remaining 
uncovered all the time they were conversing, 
even though this should be in the open air and 
under the most inclement winter sky. 

The first fruits from the royal conserves, and 
indeed a part of the greatest delicacies brought 
to his IMajesty's table, were generally sent to 
his consort every day. But she is universally 
held to have lived and died, (some years after 
her husband,) as she originally came to Berlin, 
a virgin-queen. And when the tongue of scan- 
dal is silent regarding a woman of her high 
rank, and under her peculiar circumstances, it 
may fairly be inferred that there is really no 
ground even for suspicion. 

The following little story was communicated 
to me by the Countess de Vasse. Some fine 
cherries had been brought, unusually early in 
the season, from the hot-house at Potsdam ; 
and the King, upon their being served in the 
dessert, took a few from the plate, and directed 
the late General Clist (at that time one of the 
royal pages) to carry them, with his Majesty's 


respects, to the apartments of the Queen. The 
thoughtless youth, strongly tempted by the 
look of the glowing fruit before him, and never 
contem])lating the possibility of the circum- 
stance reaching the King's ear, diminished half 
of them before he reached the landing-place 
leading to her Majesty's suite ; and then, half 
ashamed of presenting so scanty a number, and 
powerfully urged by the imp of mischief, he 
scrupled not to consume the remainder. 

But, alas ! unluckily for the page, it was 
customary for his Majesty to receive the 
Queen's grateful acknowledgments on every 
occasion whereon he had shown her any mark 
of politeness ; and this had been so uniformly 
the case, that Frederick at length naturally 
looked for its occurrence. In the present in- 
stance, his Majesty having met his spouse two 
or three times without the slightest mention of 
the cherries, he began to think the omission 
rather strange, and the next time they encoun- 
tered each other, said, " I fear your JMajesty 
did not find the cherries to your liking, as 1 
had hoped ?" Upon this, the Queen expressed 
her surprise, saying she had received none. 
" What !" rejoined the impatient monarch, 
" did you not get the plate-full I sent you 
the other day, through Clist ?"— " No, Sire !" 


— " Well, well," said the King, " that rogue of 
a page shall get something for dinner to-day 
more substantial than fruit ;" and on his return 
to his cabinet, he wrote as follows to the Ser- 
jeant of the royal guard : — " Give the bearer 
twenty-five lashes." The note being duly 
sealed and directed, Clist was summoned to 
take it just as his Majesty was about to sit 
down to dinner ; but the shrewd page, guess- 
ing (perhaps from the King's manner) that all 
was not right, and most likely a little con- 
science-stricken or so, determined that he would 
despatch the suspicious mandate in some other 
way ; a resolution in which he was fortified 
by the consideration that Frederick generally 
chose the dinner-hour to correct a disorderly 
page, thereby furnishing additional mortifica- 
tion to the culprit, and amusement to his com- 

Scarcely had Clist reached the gate of the 
palace, before one of the King's rich Jew 
bankers di'ove by. Struck with a sudden no- 
tion of the probable humour of the thing, he 
determined on making this man his substitute ; 
and, beckoning to him to stop, handed the 
letter, requesting that it might be forthwith 
delivered, and urging the matter as a private 
favour, alleging that he ought to have deli- 


vered it before, and was now prevented from 
doing so, as he was necessitated to attend the 
King at table. 

The unsuspecting Jew, always eager to curry 
favour with those immediately about the royal 
person, readily took the letter, and assured 
Chst, to the no small gratification of the mali- 
cious youth, that he would not fail to deliver 
it in person on his way home. " By the bye," 
added Clist, " pray don't say ant/ thing about 
it ; indeed, I think I may trust you ?" — " Oh, 
never fear," exclaimed the honest Israelite; 
" you know I am so fond of you devils of 
pages, that I would do any thing to oblige 
you — except, indeed, taking the flogging with 
which you are sometimes visited for your wild 
freaks among the women ;" and giving the nod 
to his coachman, off flew the banker with his 
whij)ping mandamus. 

On his arrival at the guard-house, the Ser- 
jeant having read the King's orders, imme- 
diately called out the guard, who presented 
arms. The banker, tiiinking it a mark of dis- 
tinction, said, '* Bah ! bah ! I don't want all 
this." " Very probably not," returned the pre- 
cise officer ; " nevertheless, his Majesty's com- 
mands must be obeyed." 

The carriage was surrounded in a twinkling, 


and its astonished inmate speedily taken out 
and tied to the whipping-post, where execution 
was done upon him with true military exact- 
ness. On the conclusion of this unwelcome 
operation, not knowing whether he was most 
terrified or hurt, he was hobbling with all pos- 
sible speed to his carriage, when the serjeant 
cried out, " I must trouble you a little farther, 
Sir." " Oh, for Heaven's sake, let me off!" ex- 
claimed the Jew, fearful of some additional 
infliction, and handing, at the same time, his 
purse to the officer. " No, no," answered the 
other, " it is not that we want. You must 
give us a receipt for what you have taken, 
which I must register in a book we keep for the 
purpose, and send the original to-morrow to 
his Majesty, who accumulates all such, and has 
them bound every year in a portfolio, from 
which, when in a good humour, and among 
his old comrades, he reads after dinner, for 
their entertainment and his own. Among the 
many receipts thus collected, we have one from 
no less a personage than the celebrated ]M. de 
Voltaire, who was whipped for having written 
some poetical lampoon upon his Majesty.' 
There was no appeal, and the poor banker, 
having w4th a grave face made the requisite 
testimonial, was suffered to depart. 


The consequences, however, were like to 
have been of a less laughable nature. This 
man was extremely rich, and in the habit of 
making advances to the Government, with 
which it could scarcely dispense. Upon the 
matter coming to Frederick's ears, although 
the whimsicality of the thing struck him so 
forcibly that he professed himself unable to 
punish the planner, yet the danger immedi- 
ately occurred to him, that the Jew might, in 
the heat of his exasperation, leave the Prussian 
dominions. This was a contingency which the 
King could not endure to contemplate; and 
it is confidently asserted that he found him- 
self compelled to wait in person on tlie of- 
fended Israelite, and employ his own royal 
rhetoric in order to bring him to terms. Whe- 
ther or not the mischievous page was ulti- 
mately punished, does not clearly appear. 

In truth, the Prussian Cabinet was often 
hard pushed for money, particularly during 
the Seven Years' War. So immense were the 
sums required at that period, both for domes- 
tic and foreign purposes, that the royal mint 
found it convenient to issue very questionable 
money ; and malicious persons have said that 
the value of a silver spoon was sometimes held 
sufficient to lacker a whole boiler of base coin. 


The circulation of this dross was stopped by 
Frederick, on the conclusion of peace, nearly 
to the ruin of most of his Majesty's loving 
subjects, who had been accustomed to pass it 
as current, to its full nominal amount. In- 
deed, the whole of Germany would have suf- 
fered severely, had not the Confederation of 
German Princes started another description of 
coin to supply its loss. By the edict which 
authorised this substitution, all Prussian coins 
were strictly excluded : time, however, increas- 
ing influence, and a purer composition, have 
combined to enable Prussia again to dissemi- 
nate freely her silver currency, — though at its 
ifitrinsic value, the alloy being deducted. 

Whilst the war lasted, Frederick was con- 
stantly making important promotions in the 
army ; but, on the return of peace, he dis- 
covered his treasury to be so completely ex- 
hausted, and that his subjects had suffered so 
much privation from excess of taxation, from 
external invasions, and internal plunder, that 
it would be highly impolitic to add to the 
weight of the public burden for the purpose of 
providing for the individuals promoted. In 
this dilemma, Frederick hit upon the following 
curious expedient. 

He issued a circular to all the wealthy Jews 


residing in his capital, (and they were nume- 
rous,) whereirj he stated, that in order to re- 
ward them for their proved fidehty and at- 
tachment to his person, it was his purpose to en- 
noble their posterity, by marrying their daugh- 
ters to the several valiant general-officers of 
his army, yet in a state of " single blessedness," 
who had so well merited his Majesty's best 
remuneration : still, however, that those fa- 
thers who might be averse, from religious or 
other scruples, to contracting such an alliance, 
were fully at liberty to declare their senti- 
ments, and might exempt themselves from 
conforming to the royal will in this case ex- 
pressed, on giving the respective officers an 
equivalent, in cash, to the daughter's fair and 
proper dowry. " Thus," said the circular, " both 
parties will, in either way, have reason to feel 
themselves satisfied, whether by intermarrying 
or desisting therefrom." I need not add, that 
this alternative was embraced without hesita- 
tion by most of the Israelites, who, driven to 
choose between two evils, submitted to sacri- 
fice a portion of their wealth rather than to 
renounce at once their children's society, and 
endanger their integrity regarding matters of 
faith. The King laid them accordingly under 
pretty heavy contributions, and was quite de- 


lighted at the success of his stratagem, where- 
by the fortunes of several of his favourites 
were amply made, without the expenditure of 
a single shilling from the royal treasury. 

Such was the wanton violence exercised over 
the property of a certain class of his subjects, 
by the philosophical and " Great" Frederick. 
The warm admirers of his conduct will per- 
haps scarcely think it credible ; but " facts are 
stubborn things." 

VOL. I. 





Intrigues of the Baron de Stein in 1808. — The Embassy of 
the Assessor Hope. — Imprudent conduct of that individual. 
— His arrest, and seizure of his dispatches. — Curious let- 
ters to Prince Wittgenstein from Baron de Stein and the 
Countess Voss. — Trepidation of Marshal Soult's inter- 
preter. — Behaviour of the INIarshal. — The anti-Gallican 
parrot. — Colonel de Gautherot's embassy to Paris, and re- 
turn to Berlin. — His interview with Napoleon to transmit 
the substance of the intercepted letters. — Deportment of 
the French Emperor. — Soult's remarks thereupon. — The 
"Delicate Investigation." — Disavowal of the King and 
Queen of Prussia. — Disgrace of the Baron de Stein, and 
his outlawry by Napoleon. — He subsequently enters into 
the service of Russia. 

It was in the month of August, 1808, that 
the Baron de Stein, Minister of State to the 
King of Prussia, sent from Konigsberg, where 
lie was stopping with the royal family, M. 


Hope, a young assessor, with important dis- 
patches addressed to the Prince de Wittgen- 
stein, who was then at Hamburgh, busied in 
certain matters connected with the Prussian 
Court. The courier, either ill instructed or ill 
advised, instead of taking the road through 
Prussian Pomerania, Colberg, and Schwerin, 
took that of Berlin ; and on his arrival in that 
city, (occupied at the time by the 4th division 
of the French army, commanded by Marshal 
Soult,) so far from behaving with the circum- 
spection which a due regard to the trust con- 
fided to him required, he lodged under the 
linden-trees in a grand hotel partly occupied 
by persons attached to the staff of the Com- 
mandant-general, St. Hilaire. Here he com- 
mitted sundry vagaries, and, in short, behaved 
so imprudently altogether, that his dispatches, 
which formed a thick folio, were taken from 
him and placed at the direction of the Com- 
mandant-general, who hastened to transmit 
them to Marshal Soult, governor of Berlin. 

The courier himself was thrown into prison, 
where he was denied communication with any 
other individual, and treated not as a simple 
bearer of letters, but with all possible care and 

The next day, the 30th of August, the Mar- 

s 2 


shal, at 6 o'clock in the morning, summoned 
his confidential interpreter, and handed to him 
all these letters, which were written in German. 
On opening that of Baron de Stein to the 
Prince de Wittgenstein, which took up four 
pages, written closely, and duly signed, the 
Marshal said to him : — " Stop, let us begin with 
this." The interpreter, who was at heart great- 
ly attached to the royal family of Prussia, on 
first rapidly casting his eye over the paper, 
turned pale, and betrayed such evident marks 
of embarrassment, that it could not fail to 
attract the attention of the Marshal, who ex- 
claimed briskly, " Come, am I to hear the con- 
tents of this pretty epistle ?" — The secretary 
replied, trembling, " Pardon me, your Excel- 
lency ! I was certainly both surprised and 
confused : — I could never have believed that a 
INImister of State would have the audacity to 
write such a letter ; and, if I did not know the 
Baron's hand, should have hesitated long before 
supposing him capable of so much perfidy at 
once toward his own sovereign and the Em- 
peror Napoleon." — " I will dispense with your 
comments. Sir," interrupted the Marshal ; " in- 
form me of the contents of the letter, and that 
quickly : we have no time to lose." 

The secretary obeyed ; and the verbal trans- 

BARON DE stein's LETTER. 261 

lation being completed, the Marshal, opening 
the door of his cabinet, said " Go, Sir, and with- 
out delay render this letter into French : but," 
added he, " in the name of God ! abstain from 
the least amplification : rather modify the ex- 
pressions, for otherwise the Emperor will be 
furious, and this same royal family of Prussia 
is already sufficiently unfortunate. Heavens ! 
what will become of it, should it be unable to 
exculpate itself from taking a share in this 
shameful conspiracy !" 

This letter of the Baron de Stein was in sub- 
stance as follows : — • 
" My dear Prince, 

" I have received all your letters by B ^ 

and hasten to answer them through a confiden- 
tial man, the assessor Hope, whom I have dis- 
patched in order to secure the due and faithful 
delivery of my packet. 

" The news which we have received from 
Prince William at Paris affords no consolation. 
Notwithstanding his amiable character, and all 
the efforts he has used to obtain from Napo- 
leon some decrease of the exorbitant contribu- 
tion for which he has stipulated, both in the 
treaty of Tilsit and the succeeding conventions, 
this prince has been able to effect nothing, and 
we are under the horrible necessity of submit- 


ting, without appeal, to all which Napoleon has 
arranged and concluded with respect to us. 

** As we see, from the last advices, that no- 
thing is to be hoped from this man, it appears 
necessary to send to Prince William at Paris, 
a confidential servant, for the purpose of ap- 
prising his Highness, that the King's intentions 
are, that he should quit France as secretly as 
possible, and return to Konigsberg, in order, 
that having heard him personally, we may con- 
sult upon taking other measures for our re- 

" All my hopes and all my anxiety are now 
turned upon the affairs of Spain. It is certain 
that Napoleon is about to repair thither, and in 
that country the grand blow will undoubtedly 
be struck. In Spain I have many friends, men 
of enterprise and capability : let your connex- 
ions be joined to mine ; and, in one way or ano- 
ther, we may yet accomplish our end. 

" You will find, my Prince, in the packet, 
two blank drafts, signed by the King. The 
Elector of Hesse writes us from Prague, that 
he has given orders to his bankers at Ham- 
burgh to advance such funds as we may stand 
in need of, for the execution uf our projects 
in Spain. Use your utmost endeavours to pro- 
cure as much as possible, and send it to us 


by Hope, for we are destitute in this place of 
all means whatsoever. 

" Adieu, dear Prince ; be guarded and at 
the same time active ; and believe that I am 
Your very devoted servant, 

(Signed) The Baron de Stein." 

" Konigsberg, August, 1808." 

This letter having been disposed of, Marshal 
Soult drew another from the same packet, 
which was from the Countess Voss, first lady 
of honour to the Queen of Prussia. This 
epistle was, in its nature, still more offensive 
than that of the minister ; it ran as follows : — 
" My dear Prince, 

*' The Queen commands me to write and 
inform you, that she has received all your let- 
ters ; and to thank you for the care and pains 
you have taken to ameliorate, so far as possible, 
our unfortunate destiny. You will learn from 
the Baron de Stein, that Prince William has 
been able to obtain nothing at Paris from this 
fellow, Napoleon ; and that our affairs are con- 
sequently not in the least advanced. We are 
all desirous of seeing this amiable Prince again 
as speedily as possible ; he may otherwise be 
exposed to some danger. 

Our hopes are at present founded upon the 


state of things in Spain ; if at length these, as 
well as other things, should Tail us, we must 
have recourse to our chocolat de Sante, to re- 
cruit our nerves. 

" The Prince of Hesse, our friend at all 
times, will furnish the means necessary to af- 
ford you a chance of success in the enterprises 
we meditate. 

" I salute you, dear Prince, with all my 
heart, and am 

" Your very devoted friend, 

(Signed) The Countess de Voss." 

" Konigsberg, August, 1808." 

P. S. " Apropos, my dear Prince ! I forgot 
to tell you that the Queen has very recently re- 
ceived from an English officer, who comes from 
the Indies, a most beautiful parrot who prattles 
to admiration. He amuses us greatly with his 
" God-dam Napoleon !" which he repeats (as 
if to prevent mistake) fifty times a-day. — Oh, 
the charming parrot ! — Adieu, Prince !" 

The above little epistle, written with the 
Countess's own hand, was, hke the preceding, 
translated into French, as was also another from 
the Privy-counsellor Hacke; and the same 
evening, as soon as Marshal Soult had finished 

GAUTHEROT'S embassy to PARIS. ii65 

his dispatch to the Emperor, he sent his Aid- 
du-camp, Colonel Gautherot, with the whole to 

An individual in the service of a neighbour- 
ing Prince, but greatly attached to the royal 
family of Prussia, having been apprised of all 
that had occurred to the courier Hope, hastened 
to find a sure hand by which to transmit to the 
King at Konigsberg an account of these pro- 
ceedings. After long seeking, he found a fe- 
male, the widow Obermann, of Berlin, who, full 
of patriotism and attachment towards her sove- 
reign, engaged to provide a confidential person 
(Captain A.) who would carry to the royal 
family a letter containing information of the 
foregoing untoward events. 

One may readily conceive the consternation 
of the Court on the receipt of this intelligence ; 
and their fears acquired additional earnestness 
from the consideration that, in all probability. 
Prince William was still in the French capital. 

Captain A. was at length secretly sent back 
from Konigsberg to Berlin, to conjure the ge- 
nerous personage before alluded to, to continue 
his friendly zeal, and to inform the King of 
every thing calculated to affect the lot of his 

At the expiration of ten days. Colonel de 


Gautherot returned to Berlin from Paris ; and 
on their first meeting. Marshal Soult said to 
him hastily, " Ah, you are here ! hand me over 
the dispatches !" The Colonel answered, " I 
have none : I was presented to the Emperor by 
INIarshal Berthier, and had the honour of deli- 
vering your letter personally. His Majesty, on 
reading it, showed evident tokens of wrath, 
cursed and swore, and in short seemed almost 
beside himself. For the first time in my life, 
I underwent the sensation of fear. The Em- 
peror directed Marshal Berthier to command the 
immediate presence of Prince William, but that 
personage had already departed." 

Soult observed : — " The Emperor, then, was 
exceedingly annoyed on reading the contents of 
my dispatch ?" 

" Oh, yes," replied Gautherot ; " I never saw 
his Majesty evince so much agitation. He tore 
the papers, stamped with his foot, and swore." 

" Did he strike you ?" 

" No, your Excellency ; I was kept both by 
respect and fear, at too great a distance." 

" Ah ! then lie was not so much disturbed as 
you imagine. Go and refresh yourself." 

Fifteen days subsequently to this, M. de 
Bausset, and another individual, arrived at 
Berlin from Paris, with orders and instructions 


from the Emperor Napoleon to seek, both at Ko- 
nigsberg and BerUn, mformation touching the 
affair of the courier Hope and his dispatches. 

A Council was accordingly formed, consist- 
ing of Marshal Soult, Count Daru, General St. 
Hilaire, General Compan, and M. de Bausset. 
It was decided that the latter should repair to 
Konigsberg, to trace the matter to its founda- 
tion, and discover whether the dispatches of 
Hope had been written and sent by the Baron 
de Stein and the Countess de Voss, with the 
consent of the King and Queen. 

The result of these investigations was some- 
what in favour of their Majesties, who both 
declared, in the most solemn manner, that they 
had no knowledge whatever of the contents of 
the letters in question. The King, on his part, 
offered abundant proof that, in signing the 
carte blanchey he had no other view but to 
procure, in the most open manner, a sum for 
his own purposes, upon credit from the old 
Prince of Hesse-Cassel at his Hamburgh ban- 
kers. Beyond this, he protested entire igno- 
rance as to the mission of the courier Hope. 

To give more force to this protestation on 
his part, his Majesty on the instant dismissed 
the Minister Stein, ordering him to return his 
porte-feuille to Count Goltz, and to quit Ko- 


nigsberg. The Queen, at the same time, took 
measures of a severe kind against the Coun- 
tess Voss, punishing her for her imprudence — I 
should rather say for her perfidy — by banish- 
ment from Court. 

The French Commissioners returned to 
Berlin, where they renewed their investigations. 
Nevertheless, although there existed sundry 
malignant enemies of the royal family, who 
had put into requisition all sorts of intrigues, 
to make it believed that the King was in reality 
an accomplice, although counterfeit letters were 
fabricated from Stein and the Countess to 
Prince Wittgenstein, inculpating their Majes- 
ties—in spite, I say, of all these perfidious 
machinations. Marshal Soult and the Count 
Daru preserved an undeviating confidence in 
the sincerity and innocence of Frederic- Wil- 
liam and his consort, and a detailed report was 
transmitted, to this effect, to the Emperor at 

Napoleon did not hesitate to follow up the 
vigorous measures which had been instituted 
by the King of Prussia against the transgress- 
ing minister, whom he outlawed, confiscating 
all his estates situated upon the Rhine. The 
Baron took refuge in some secluded spot in the 
neighbourhood of Memel ; but no sooner had 


hostilities been declared between Napoleon and 
Alexander, than, emerging from his hiding- 
place, he entered into the service of Russia, 
and was made a counsellor of state. 

The journals of the time made sufficient 
mention of the conduct of this same Stein, as 
well during his ministry as during his provi- 
sional administration in the Duchy of Berg, 
and likewise when he was chief of the order 
of the Tugenbund. It will not, therefore, be 
necessary for me to retrace those steps. The 
foregoing circumstances, however, are by no 
means generally understood. 



IMarshal Soult's administration at Berlin. — His popularity 
with all classes. — His gentleness and generosity as con- 
trasted to the severity of his predecessor, Victor. — The 
House of Cadets. — The Inspector of this Institution, and 
Colonel L. — Their reception by Marshal Soult. — A whole 
establishment on the point of perishing from hunger. — 
The Marshal's bounty, and the singular expression of gra- 
titude produced by it. — Acknowledgments on the part of 
the King of Prussia of the IMarshal's benevolence. — His 
recal and the appointment of JMarshal Davoust. — That 
Commander detects a correspondence between the Prince 
of Orange and ]\Iajor Schill. — His considerate conduct. — 
Hostile preparations of Austria. — General Andreossi ; and 
his dispatches. — Conference between Marshal Davoust and 
the author. — General St. Hilaire. — Count de St. Marsan. 
— His liberal behaviour and its happy result. 

The writer of these memoirs, having en- 
joyed the esteem and full confidence of the 
French chiefs of the provisional government 
established at Berlin, was enabled to see that 
nothing could be more fortunate for the in- 
habitants of the Prussian capital, at that ])eriod, 

soult's administration at berijn. 271 

than the nomination of IMarshal Soult as Go- 
vernor-general ; since, without forgetting his 
duty toward his sovereign, he always extended 
to the people of the subjected country as much 
indulgent and generous treatment as he could. 

Amidst a whole multitude of generous traits 
which signalized Marshal Soult's short adminis- 
tration in the Prussian capital, I shall content 
myself with specifying one only which will 
serve to exemplify the Marshal's feeling and 
grandeur of soul, even toward his enemies. 

At the end of the month of August, 1808, a 
number of unfortunate persons who had suf- 
fered under the rigorous administration of his 
predecessor, IMarshal Victor, presented them- 
selves one morning at his levee, to supplicate 
him for some alleviation of their unhappy cir- 
cumstances. Among them, appeared Colonel 
L., and another officer. Inspector of the Esta- 
blishment of Cadets. Both these men were 
advanced in years, and had grown grey under 
the weight of their services in the wars of 
Frederick the Great. The Marshal distin- 
guished them from the crowd, arose, and going 
to meet them, took each by the hand, and in 
the most gracious manner made them sit by 
him, whilst with winning kindness he demand- 
ed the nature of their solicitations. 


Col. L. handed the Marshal a memoir, writ- 
ten in German, which Soult immediately or- 
dered his translating secretary would construe 
verbally. It set forth that the administration 
of the House of Cadets had been so overlooked 
and neglected by his Excellency's predecessor. 
Marshal Victor, that its inmates found them- 
selves on the point of famishing with hunger, 
— including four or five hundred children whose 
fathers had perished for their king and country. 
They had received nothing by way of provi- 
sion, on the part of the Prussian government, 
except certain sums in a species of assignats, 
payment of which had been refused. 

No sooner had this memorial been duly 
translated, than these veteran soldiers (as if to 
heighten the force of their appeal) exclaimed, 
in as good French as they were masters of, 
their eyes meanwhile swimming in tears, — 
" Ah, Marshal ! have pity on us ! We shall 
perish with hunger, — we, and our poor infants, 
if you abandon us." INIarshal Soult, extremely 
touched at the hard situation of these respect- 
able officers, cried with the deepest emotion — 
" No, no ! my dear comrades ! you shall never 
die of hunger whilst 1 have bread. Wait here 
a moment." 


He passed into his cabinet, and shortly re- 
turned, bringing with him two rouleaux of 
fifty louis-cVor each. He then anew summon- 
ed his translating secretary, and said in a tone 
of sensibility, " Tell these two worthy officers 
that, in the course of the day, I will take 
measures for the due supply of the House of 
Cadets with every requisite, including both 
money and provisions ; and that meanwhile 
I beg them to accept, at the hands of a 
comrade, this little sum for their immediate 
wants : and let them never hesitate to apply 
directly to me when they wish either my ad- 
vice or assistance." Having shaken hands with 
these same officers, he desired the present 
writer to accompany them to the gate of the 
mansion, which he did with the greatest plea- 

No sooner had they left the audience hall, 
than the two veterans, turning both towards 
the author, exclaimed with emotion : " And 
is this governor a Frenchman, and a general 
of Napoleon ?" — " Assuredly," replied he, smil- 
ing at their earnestness : — " May Heaven pro- 
tect and preserve him !" responded they : " we 
were never so well treated in our misfortunes 
by one of our own generals, as we have been 

VOL. 1. T 


by the Marslial ; God bless him ! This is the 
first time we Iiave offered prayers for an ene- 
my, but they are not the less sincere." 

The Governor-general strictly fulfilled his 
promises, and the same day arranged matters 
with the [ntendant-general. Count Daru, and 
the other proper authorities, for a due provi- 
sion in every way for the House of Cadets. 

Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Berlin, 
and to their great regret. Marshal Soult was 
summoned by Napoleon to Erfurt, from whence 
he was sent into Spain to take the chief com- 
mand of the French army in that country. 

The King of Prussia, who always remain- 
ed at Konigsberg, was faithfully informed of 
all which the IVIarshal Duke of Dalmatia had 
done to lighten the hardships of his suffering 
people. He was extremely touched by so 
many proofs of generosity ; and on several oc- 
casions testified to the Marshal his sense there, 
of; more especially in 1815; for when Soult 
was included in the lists of the proscription, he 
received from the royal family of Prussia an 
invitation to fix upon Berlin, or some other 
town in his IMajesty's dominions, as a place of 
residence ; together with assurances that no 
pains should be spared to soften the rigour of 
his exile. 


Some weeks after the departure of Marshal 
Soiilt, Marshal Davoust arrived at Berlin to 
replace him. Although the administration of 
this officer was not quite so gentle as that of 
his worthy predecessor, it was nevertheless far 
from rigorous ; for several circumstances oc- 
curred so as to warrant the exercise, on the 
part of the Marshal, of a good deal more se- 
verity than was absolutely used by him ; as, for 
example, in the following instance : 

The French police established at Berlin, was 
not ignorant that a certain dangerous connexion 
existed between the family of the Prince of 
Orange, which was residing in that capital, and 
the brave and celebrated INIajor Schill, v/ho oc- 
cupied Colberg and its environs with a small 
corps d'armde consisting of about 6000 men, 
with which he distinguished himself in sundry 
engagements with the French, who were block- 
ading the town above-mentioned. It was made 
clear to Marshal Davoust, by means of certain 
letters that had been intercepted in the lit- 
tle town of Stargard, that this understanding 
really existed. The Marshal, however, took 
no other steps in consequence, than to go with 
these letters to the palace of the Prince of 
Orange's mother, to whom he made known 
what he had learnt on the subject of this clan- 

T 2 


destine correspondence, promising, that if the 
Princess would engage, on the part of her chil- 
dren, that it should be immediately disconti- 
nued, he would take no farther notice of the 
affair, notwithstanding his instructions warrant- 
ed him in visiting the parties with measures of 
severity : but that if, on the other hand, any 
fresh instance of such perfidy came to his 
knowledge, he should not hesitate to act in 
full conformity to those instrvictions, however 
great the rank or distinction of the persons 

This remonstrance had the desired effect, for 
the communications were at once almost wholly 
dropped ; indeed, to all appearance, they ceased 
entirely ; and were kept up, if at all, only 
in an indirect manner, and through the me- 
dium, principally, of the Prussian officers, 

Ch— t, A , M g, and H g, who 

successively repaired from Berlin to Konigs- 
berg. This kind of communication, there is 
reason to believe, lasted even until the moment 
in which the French forces evacuated the capi- 
tal, whereupon Major S chill entered it with the 
Prussian troops in the month of December, 

It is well known, that towards the end of 
1808, Austria made preparations for recom- 


mencing hostilities against France. JNlarshal 
Davoust, who was then in communication with 
General An dreossi, Ambassador from France to 
the Court of Vienna, contented himself with 
the intelligence that came officially from the 
general, and paid no attention whatsoever to 
the rumours wherewith the Prussian metropo- 
lis was filled on the subject of the movements 
of Austria. 

The author having been one day summoned 
by the INIarshal to Charlottenburg, repaired thi- 
ther with all speed; and, after the customary 
compliments had passed, was asked — if he had 
received no news from Vienna. He replied, 
that he had — as well from a brother of his who 
was there, as from the Prince de L. ; who 
had both informed him, that the preparations 
making in all the Austrian States, especially at 
Vienna, Prague, Presbourg, Pest, &c., were so 
active, and on so large a scale, that nobody 
could longer doubt of the renewal of war in 
the beginning of the year 1809 ; that, in all 
probability, the Archduke Charles would take 
the command of the Emperor's forces, which 
were likely to amount to 400,000 men, com- 
prehending the landwehr; and that the Princes, 
Counts, &c., possessing wealth, were about to 
raise, at their own proper cost, several corps in 


Austria, in Bohemia in Hungary, and in Sty- 
ria: in a word, every thing presaged a, war 
against France, and one too of tlie most ter- 
rific description. 

The Marshal, on hearing this, entered into 
many details with the author : he told him that 
he knew not what to think ; that, in truth, the 
Ambassador Andreossi had apprised him of 
these grand preparations, but had added that 
they were merely demonstrations ; that Avistria 
was, in fact, in no state to undertake a new 
war ; that, besides this, he had received official 
assurances, on the part of the Austrian Govern- 
ment, that the peace should not be disturbed, 
and that whatever was in course, of a military 
nature, was solely intended to complete regi- 

The author nevertheless, feeling that he went 
upon sure grounds, persisted in maintaining 
his opinion, and assured the Marshal that he 
did not in the least think with General Andre- 
ossi, an individual who appeared to him either 
deaf, blind, utterly incapable, or — a traitor. 
AVhilst this conversation was going forward, 
and to throv/ farther light on the discussion, 
which passed in the garden of the chateau, the 
commandant of the toAvn, General St. Hilaire, 
with several officers attached to the Marshal's 


staff, entered to pay their respects to his Ex- 
cellency ; who, as soon as he saw them ap- 
proach, said, " Ma foi. Messieurs ! you arrive 
extremely apropos ; a full hour have I spent 

in endeavouring to dissuade M. de , who 

will have it that Austria is determined, on the 
ensuing spring, to wage against us a war of 
the most terrible nature ; and that the prepa- 
rations which are this moment making in all 
the Austrian States, are pushed forward with 
the utmost rapidity, and with a direct, although 
unavowed, purpose." 

General St. Hilaire, who was in complete 
amity with the author, replied laughing ; " It 
is quite useless for your Excellency to perplex 

yourself with all that INI. de has told 

you on this subject ; he was brought up at the 
court of Vienna ; all his relations reside there ; 
and although he may neither be an Austrian 
by birth, nor even in the service of the Em- 
peror of Austria, he is not the less interested 
at such a season as the present, in every thing 
which concerns the honour and welfare of that 
power ; and hence his proneness to give cre- 
dence to whatsoever is rumoured on the sub- 

" But," interrupted the Marshal, " you seem 
to overlook, General, that it is not in this case. 


the effect of prejudice on the mind of M. 

de ; it is by facts he has supported his 

assertions ; so far as my Avishes go, I should be 
glad to think otherwise ; but as it is, notwith- 
standing the pacific assurances held out by our 
ambassador, I much fear that the opinions of 
M. de — ■ have too sure a foundation." 

General St. Hilaire upon this, putting his 
hand upon the shoulder of the author, said ; 
" Is it not true, my dear friend, that you are in 
the habit of placing faith in almost every pass- 
ing rumour ?" and was answered, " General, 
from the attachment which I bear you, I heart- 
ily hope that you may not pay with your life, 
at the first battle, for the incredulity manifest- 
ed by you on this occasion." The sequel but 
too fatallv illustrated the reasonableness of the 
speaker's deprecations ; for this most intrepid 
officer was mortally wounded at the battle of 
Aspern, on the 22nd of May, 1809. 

The consequence of the above discussion 
was, that IMarshal Davoust, struck by the force 
of the author's information and remarks, chang- 
ed all his previous dispositions, and instead of 
conducting his army into Hanover, took up at 
Erfurt a most advantageous position. 

It will not be out of place here, to say a 




word or two respecting the Count de St. Mar- 
san, Ambassador from Paris to Berlin, during 
all the time that Prussia was occupied by the 
French armies, and even after the return of 
the Royal Family ; that is to say, from October 
1806, to the end of 1809. The conduct of the 
Count throughout this period was so honest, 
generous, and high-minded, that it acquired for 
him at once the esteem of the Royal Family, 
the consideration of the ministry, and the love 
of the whole population of Berlin. This am- 
bassador presented to Europe the rare instance 
of a man enabled, throughout a diplomatic 
career, to acquire and preserve, without losing 
sight of the interests of his sovereign, both 
attachment and respect in a court, the con- 
nexion whereof with the power which he re- 
presented was altogether suspended. 

M. de St. Marsan was, however, on two oc- 
casions exposed to imminent peril. The first 
time was when IMajor Schill quitted Berlin 
with his troops, and involved himself in a kind 
of guerilla warfare against the subjects of Na- 
poleon. There was, at that juncture, for the 
moment, such an effervescence in the Prussian 
capital, that Count de St. Marsan and M. Cail- 
lard, his secretary of legation, were both so 


terrified, as to be induced to take the resolu- 
tion of departing for Stettin, which was oc- 
cupied by the French. 

The second time that the life of this valu- 
able man was put in jeopardy, was when intelli- 
gence arrived at Berlin that the Ai'chduke 
Charles, at the head of the Austrian army, had 
completely defeated the French at Aspern ; 
on receiving which news, the inhabitants of 
Berlin seemed disposed to manifest their ani- 
mosity in no gentle manner against all the 
French subjects who remained in that metro- 
polis. In this instance, however, the Count St. 
Marsan continued firm, reposing upon the con- 
sciousness that he could not reproach himself 
with doing any thing calculated to draw down 
on him personally the hate or vengeance of the 
citizens. He therefore remained where he was, 
receiving, besides, an assurance from the Prus- 
sian Marshal Lestocq, and the President of 
Police, that his person and office should be 



Justus Gruner, President of the Prussian Police. — His aug- 
mented powers, and the confidence placed in him by the 
King. — His treacherous proposal to Frederick- William 
and Alexander. — His consequent disgrace. — He is found 
upon the Austrian territory and imprisoned. — His release 
demanded by the monarchs of Russia and Prussia. — His 
restoration to the favour of Alexander. — His rigorous con- 
duct as Civil Governor of Berg. — Counsellor Bein. — Gru- 
ner at the head of the Secret Police in Paris, during its 
occupation by the Allied Sovereigns. — His rejection by the 
King of Saxony as Ambassador from Prussia. — His death. 
— Character, both public and private. — Marshal Blucher 
and the Prince de Hardenberg. — The Marshal's passion 
for gambling. — " A New Way to Pay Old Debts." — Blu- 
cher's opinion as to who won the battle of Waterloo. — 
Counts Haugwitz and Schullenbourg. — Corruption and 
manoeuvring of the former. — Policy of Napoleon. — Count 
SchuUenbourg's perfidy and ingratitude. 

Immediately on the evacuation of Ber- 
lin by the French army, and of the three 
Marches of Brandenburgh, the old Marslial de 
Lestocq took upon himself the functions of 


Governor of the French capital ; Colonel Ches- 
sot, those of Commandant ; and the famous 
Justus Gruner, those of President of Police. 
These three personages had previously been 
named by the King of Prussia, and had been 
already at Berlin several months previous to 
the evacuation. 

We shall pass over in silence all the transac- 
tions of these three chiefs up to the period of 
the royal family's arrival, the journals of the 
time having made sufficient mention of them, 
and proceed to notice, that the king had in- 
vested the President of Police with a degree 
of power considerably greater than was ever 
wielded by his predecessors. Frederick-M^il- 
liam had, in fact, so full a confidence in this 
man, that he was in the habit of approving all 
his acts, however despotic they might be. He 
was, in the sequel, nominated Counsellor of 
State, and became the colleague of the grand- 
Chancellor, Baron de Hardenberg; and when 
the royal family and the government were 
a second time obliged to qidt Berlin, and re- 
paired to Breslau, Justus Gruner still follow- 
ed his Majesty, with whom he continued up to 
the moment in which he forfeited the royal 
confidence, by making a proposal to his sove- 
reign and the Emperor of Russia, the nature of 


which is now for the first time laid open, and 
which, although neither avowed nor known at 
the period, is not the less true. 

After the rout of the Russian and Prussian 
forces in 1813, the two sovereigns, who were 
at the time in Prussian Silesia with the 
wreck of their armies, strained every nerve to 
engage the Emperor of Austria (then at Top- 
litz, in Bohemia) in a new coalition against 
Napoleon. His Imperial Majesty, however, re- 
jected all their propositions, not wishing to 
enter so precipitately into a state of warfare 
with his son-in-law. Such was the state of 
things, when this same Justus Gruner, in a 
conference whereto he was admitted with the 
two sovereigns, said that he had still means 
reserved by which to ensure the adherence of 
the Emperor Francis, notwithstanding his for- 
mal rejection of their overtures. " Well !" said 
the Emperor Alexander, " let us hear these 
means." Justus Gruner replied : — " If your 
Majesties will only give me your consent, and 
a sufficient armed force, I will pledge myself 
to make the Emperor of Austria accept your 
propositions, in spite of his Aulic counsellors." 
In a word, this loyal and worthy counsellor of 
state, Justus Gruner, offered to kidnap his 
Majesty the Emperor of the French, from the « 


chateau which he inhabited at Toplitz, and 
bring him to the Prussian head-quarters, which 
were estabhshed upon the frontier, and where 
Napoleon might be compelled to sign what- 
ever their Majesties chose to dictate. 

The Russian Emperor was greatly offended 
at this audacity, and the proposed breach of ho- 
nourable warfare, and he dismissed the propo- 
ser without hearing his plan to an end. The 
King of Prussia likewise expressed his great 
dissatisfaction at the liberty which Gruner had 
taken, and enjoined him on no account to re- 
peat any thing of the same kind. 

However confidential the above conference 
was intended to be, the Emperor of Austria, 
or his ministers were put in possession of this 
fine project of Justus Gruner ; and the first 
time, subsequently, that he dared to set his foot 
upon the Austrian territory, he was arrested, 
thrown into prison, and afterwards conducted 
to the nearest fortress in Hungary, where he 
was treated not as the counsellor of a friendly 
court, but as a criminal. In this state of du- 
rance, he remained up to the very moment 
when the Emperor Alexander and the King 
of Prussia combined to demand his liberation, 
which they obtained ; but upon the express 


condition that he should never again appear in 
the Austrian territory. 

Some time after, Gruner entered in Hke 
manner, as Counsellor of State, into the service 
of Russia; a pretty evident proof that, how- 
ever sharp the anger of Alexander, it was by 
no means of an enduring character. He was 
now sent, (under the orders of his intimate 
friend. Baron de Stein,) as Civil Governor, into 
the States of Berg, which were provisionally 
occupied and ruled by the Russian Govern- 
ment. Notwithstanding Justus Gruner was a 
native of this country, he ruled in it with 
more rigour than the most bitter enemy would 
have done. He levied, during his adminis- 
tration, upward of four millions of florins, ex- 
clusive of contributions both of food and cloth- 
ing for the Russian troops. 

The Emperor Alexander, who, like most 
other politicians, considered the exigencies of 
his service as superior to all natural or social 
ties, felt called upon to recompense this faith- 
ful civil governor, gave him, at the end of the 
year 1814, a considerable sum of money, toge- 
ther with the Order of St. Anne, which was 
conveyed to him by one of his counsellors, 
Counsellor Bein, another sanguinary instru- 


ment of the police of Berlin, who had been 
sent by Justus Gruner to St. Petersburgh, to 
render an account of his exploits and of his 
administration generally in the Duchy of Berg. 

This same Counsellor Bein, whilst on his 
journey to Frank fort-on-the-Maine, vaunted 
of having himself caused the arrest of 127 in- 
dividuals, all fathers of families, convicted of 
the crime of having been friendly to the French 
and to the government of the Grand-duke 
of Berg. Those poor people were all punished 
with the utmost severity. 

Counsellor Bein also received, in considera- 
tion of the services rendered by him in the 
Grand Duchy, the insignia of a Russian Order. 
He is at this day to be found in the police- 
department at Berlin, where he is equally 
known and despised. As to his worthy chief, 
the famous Justus Gruner, he accompanied 
Frederick-William to Paris, where he had the 
direction of the secret police during all the 
sojourn in that metropolis of the Allied So- 
vereigns. A little time after, Justus Gruner 
was named by his royal master, JNIinister Ple- 
nipotentiary to the Court of Dresden: but 
the King of Saxony, advised of the whole con- 
duct of this man, and of the various trans- 
actions in which he had been mixed up, abso- 


lutely refused to receive him, whilst his Mi- 
nister of State expressed his astonishment in 
an official dispatch to Prince Hardenberg, at 
the selection which the King of Prussia had 
made, of such a man to represent him at the 
Court of Saxony. 

But as the Prince de Hardenberg had des- 
tined Gruner to the diplomatic career, and felt 
indisposed to be thwarted in this particular, he 
suggested to Frederick William to send Jus- 
tus as minister plenipotentiary into Switzer- 
land, where he died, to the best of the author's 
knowledge, a death precipitate rather than 

The Counsellor Justus Gruner was a man by 
no means destitute of merit. He was beyond 
dispute an excellent director or minister of 
police ; in fact, Prussia never possessed one 
more able ; and had his exertions been confined 
to this branch of administration, he would most 
probably never have had the hardihood to com- 
mit the extravagant and despotic acts which 
marked the sway of himself and his subalterns. 
There are many men calculated to be emi- 
nently useful in a certain way, who, take them 
out of their proper sphere, become on the other 
hand mischievous ; and such a one was Gru- 

VOL. I. u 


ner. He was a distinguished orator ; and his 
speeches delivered in the civic assemblies of 
Berlin, full of energetic eloquence, were highly 
instrumental in awakening those patriotic dis- 
positions manifested in all parts of the king- 
dom by the young people of every class. It 
was the addresses of Justus Gruner which pro- 
duced among these same youths an intermi- 
nable hatred of the French, together with a 
generous inclination to make every sacrifice for 
the public good. 

The private life of this man was, by all ac- 
counts, of the most depraved character. He 
married, in the first instance, a Bavarian female 
of respectable family, by whom he had four 
or five children, and whom he quitted in order 
to espouse a woman of pleasure (INIademoi- 
selle Claus), who died in her first confinement. 
Gruner then entered into the bonds of wed- 
lock with a lady of Coblentz, whom in turn 
he abandoned for the purpose of uniting him- 
self to a Frenchwoman. He died even under 
the premature age of forty. 

The author thinks it may not be unaccept- 
able, after having offered the foregoing details 
respecting the conduct of Justus Gruner, to 
subjoin a few general reflections upon two 
other personages, who, in those disastrous 


times, had each of them the confidence of the 
King of Prussia. 

It is known by most of those who have had 
the honour of a personal acquaintance with his 
Majesty the King of Prussia, that this sove- 
reign had presented, ever since the commence- 
ment of his reign, the image of a human being 
graced with as many virtues as any man in 
his dominions. Within the precincts of his 
palace reigned the most precise order ; and 
there was nothing which Frederick- William 
more detested than men of a dissipated cast, 
incurrers of debt, and in general all persons 
who are wanting in a regular adjustment of 
their particular affairs. 

It was therefore by a singular fatality that 
his Majesty experienced, in this respect, from 
those about him the most contrary disposition 
possible ; even on the part of such as, from their 
high offices, were placed in more especial con- 
tact with his person. Among these, two in- 
dividuals stood most prominent. Prince Har- 
denberg, his Majesty's Chancellor, and Marshal 
!| Blucher. Few persons at all conversant with 
t affairs of this character, are ignorant that up to 
1 1 the year 1814, the Prince was so embroiled with 
1 respect to his finances, that he was obliged, in 
I order to procure a necessary supply of money, 

u 2 


to have recourse to an Israelite of the name of 
Gans, one of the most notorious usurers then in 
existence. His excellency was compelled to 
seek the relief afforded by this man, at various 
times, until the year 1814, when he was gene- 
rously recompensed by his Sovereign, and re- 
ceived likewise, by way of presents, considerable 
sums in cash, both from the Emperor of Russia 
and the government of France. 

With respect to Prince Blucher, his circum- 
stances were still worse than those of Harden- 
berg. He was in fact almost constantly over 
head and ears in debt, and so enslaved by a 
passion for play, that he knew no higher enjoy- 
ment than that of remaining night and day 
seated at a gaming-table, either at faro^ rouge 
et noir, or roulette. In 1795, when he came to 
Frankfort-on-the-Maine with a small corps of 
observation, he lost at play, not only all he pos- 
sessed, but even the money which had been 
confided to him. In 1812, the author of these 
Memoirs, then on the eve of his departure from 
Schwerin, was charged by one of his friends, 
the Baron I^utzen de Hohentrutz, to follow 
Marshal Blucher to Berlin for the sum of sixty 
Frederics d'or, which he owed the Baron in 
cash, as also for a similar sum due on account 
of a saddle-horse which Blucher had forcibly 


abstracted from Routz after his defeat at the 
famous affair of Liibec, in 1806. 

When the author arrived at Berlin, he placed 
an authority for the receipt of these sums in 
the hands of his Commissary of Justice, M. 
Rurcke, who, on application for payment to 
the Marshal, was addressed as follows: — 
" Write to Baron Lutzen that he had better 
come to Berlin in person upon this business, in 
order that, to satisfy fairly the pretensions of 
both parties, we may between us get up a 
raffle" In effect, the friend of Lutzen, in com- 
mon with many other persons similarly com- 
missioned, could never get a single franc of the 
money due to his principal. 

When Marshal Blucher returned from Lon- 
don into Germany, he made a fortnight's stay 
at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, where the people 
pressed daily to see him, as well as his carriage, 
a coach accommodating four persons, which 
had belonged to Bonaparte, and was captured 
with several other equipages, after the battle 
of Waterloo. During this fortnight, the Mar- 
shal was busied every evening in receiving his 
ancient friends of the gambling table, and par- 
ticularly the banker thereof, M. Kohl, with 
whom he generally made up a party. 

The author, who had known Marshal Blu- 


cher for thirty years past, happening to be at 
Frankfort at the time of the Marshal's arrival, 
hastened to pay his respects to his Excellency 
at his hotel, the White Swan. One evening, 
being alone with him and conversing on seve- 
ral political matters, more particularly on the 
subject of the battle of Waterloo, " Prince," 
said he, " I have read not only all the offi- 
cial accounts, but almost every description 
published of that glorious affair, still I do 
not consider myself perfectly au fait as to the 
subject. Pray tell me, was it you and your 
brave army, my dear Prince, that gained the 
battle, or were Wellington and the English the 
conquerors ?" With the greatest affability, the 
Prince led his querist to a window of the sa- 
loon, and answered in German, " Would you, 
my friend, learn the fact of the case ? If so, let 
me tell you, that neither Wellington nor my- 
self gained the battle. Napoleon lost it: — and 
what is extraordinary, this same Napoleon, who 
is one of the greatest tacticians of our day, has 
lost it from a false step in tactics. Grouchy 
and Bulow, BuIoav and Grouchy, those are the 
wheels upon which turned the fortunes of the 

As I have spoken above of the depredations 
and perfidy of Justus Gruner, I ought not to 


omit making known likewise the conduct of 
the two ministers, Comit Haugwitz and Count 
SchuUenbourg : but I shall observe, in the first 
place, that it is easy for any judicious man 
to see how the King of Prussia must suffer, on 
finding himself under the necessity of being 
surrounded, counselled, and guided by men 
who, although capable of filling their several 
functions with ability, were so unlike himself 
in their personal conduct. 

In 1805, after the arrival of the Emperor 
Alexander at Berlin, in the month of Novem- 
ber, the King of Prussia hastened to assemble 
in the environs of the capital an army of sixty 
thousand men, who came from Eastern Prussia, 
and whom his Majesty had promised, in a secret 
convention, to join to the Russian and Austrian 
armies then in Moravia : but previous to taking 
this last step, his Majesty sent to the Emperor 
Napoleon at Vienna his ultimatum, which he 
entrusted to his INIinister of State, Count Haug- 
witz. This ultimatum purported, that the 
French armies should immediately evacuate 
Vienna and aU the Austrian States, and that 
the respective powers should nominate ple- 
nipotentiaries to treat respecting a definitive 

The Emperor Napoleon, on perceiving the 


Count, without permitting him to say a word, 
addressed his Excellency thus : — " Eh hien ! 
your King, it appears, is sadly angry with me. 
I know all. I know that he talks of uniting 
sixty thousand men to the armies of my enemies. 
Be it so. I shall conquer sixty thousand men 
more, and my glory will be so much the greater." 
After a pause, he added, " I have no desire, at 
the same time, to go to war with your King : 
— I know what he wishes. There ! take an or- 
der to the commander of my troops in Hanover, 
by which he is enjoined to evacuate the Elec- 
torate, and place it again under the power of 
the King of Prussia. As to yourself. Count, 
I am not ignorant that you are much burdened 
with debt. Do me the favour to accept a draft 
upon my treasury for the sum of one hundred 
thousand crowns. Here are articles of conven- 
tion between your King and me, quite ready 
for signature ; affix yours, and all is accom- 
plished ; and your King shall, be assured, have 
every reason to feel fully satisfied." 

Haugwitz hesitated not : he signed the 
papers and quitted Vienna, after receiving his 
quota of cash. No sooner had he signed in 
duplicate this convention, which he had en- 
tered into with Napoleon, than the latter dis- 
patched one of his aides-de-camp with a copy 


to the Emperor of Austria, who was residing 
at Brunn in Moravia, that his Imperial Ma- 
jesty might see what had been transacted ; and 
that it was in vain for him to count upon any 
assistance from the Prussian army. 

The Emperor Alexander was promptly in- 
formed of this perfidy of Haugwitz, by a 
faithful servant of his, established at Vienna. 
His Majesty immediately sent Prince Dolgo- 
rucky to Berlin, to acquaint the King with 
the traitorous proceedings carried on by his 
Minister with the French Emperor ; and to 
solicit, that, by way of repairing this error, the 
Prussian army of 60,000 men should be placed 
under the command of Marshal Mollendorf 
and Duke Eugene of Wurtemberg, and put 
in march to rejoin his own. He further sug- 
gested, that Frederick- William should send 
another minister to Napoleon, wherever he 
may be found, in Vienna or elsewhere, who 
should be instructed to require adherence 
to the King's ultimatum, which the Minister 
Haugwitz had so unworthily infringed. 

The King of Prussia, without the least delay, 
dispatched to Vienna General Count de Zas- 
trow, with instructions to annul every thing 
which the perfidious Haugwitz had concluded 
contrary to the orders of his Sovereign, and to 


insist on those conditions for the continuation 
of the peace, which were stipulated in the ulti- 
matum that had been confided to Haugwitz. 

This new envoy. General Zastrow, repairing 
to Vienna with the utmost celerity, encounter- 
ed at Prague his predecessor Haugwitz, who 
was on his way back to Berlin. He commu- 
nicated the orders of the King, and was pro- 
ceeding on his route, when Haugwitz gave 
him to understand that this step would be 
absolutely useless ; that he bore in his portfolio 
what would thoroughly content and satisfy the 
King ; and that, besides, Napoleon had quitted 
Vienna, and was gone to rejoin his army for 
the purpose of giving battle to the two Em- 
perors, the result of which battle could scarce- 
ly be doubtful. The General was, in the end, 
persuaded by Count Haugwitz, with whom he 
returned in company to Berlin. 

Napoleon, immediately after the departure 
of Haugwitz, had, in point of fact, repaired to 
his army in Moravia, and knowing the strength 
of the Russian forces, as likewise the irresolu- 
tion which the absence of the Prussian troops 
would occasion in the councils of the Emperor 
of Austria, he fought the celebrated battle of 
Austerlitz, whereat the Russian army was ut- 
terly destroyed. 


The Minister Haugwitz was, on his arrival 
at Berlin, received, both by the King and the 
public in general, with those expressions of 
feeling which his conduct had so justly merited. 
One evening, when he was known to be in his 
palace near the Tribunal, called the Camerge- 
richt, the populace, instigated by several persons 
of distinction, (amongst whom were the Prince 

L and the Count de H ,) repaired 

thither in a crowd, forced the gates, pillaged, 
and committed every possible excess. The 
faithless Minister found himself compelled to 
seek safety in flight ; he therefore got out of 
the house clandestinely, through the garden, 
which was situated at the back of his house, 
and led into the open country. Thus he ma- 
naged to quit Berlin, where he was universally 

The treason of Haugwitz was still more evi- 
dently proved at a later date, inasmuch as he 
paid his creditors in Napoleons d'or, and with 
the same species of coin redeemed sundry mort- 
gages wherewith his estates were burdened. 

The political culpability of the minister 
Count de SchuUenbourg, father-in-law of the 
Prince de Hartzfeldt, toward his benefactor and 
his king, is pretty generally understood : — not 
so, however, the fact that, in 1807 and 1808, he 


puslied his ingratitude to so great a point as to 
turn informer, and denounce to the French 
Government in Hanover all the particular 
property belonging to the royal family there — 
especially in the environs of Magdebourg. In 
consequence, also, of similar pointing out by 
him, the estates of several Prussian gentlemen 
who had remained faithful to the King their 
master, were confiscated. 

His Excellency i at length, entered openly 
into the service of Jerome Bonaparte, then 
King of Westphalia, and manifested on all 
occasions an unaccountable antipathy to the 
person and family of his ancient sovereign. 



Prince Eugene of Wurtemberg. — His conferences at Stut- 
gard with the Emperor Napoleon, — Mission of the Prince 
to his relative and Sovereign, the King of Prussia. — His 
interview with that monarch and the Emperor Alexander 
at Potsdam. — Indignation of the latter. — Departure of Eu- 
gene for Berlin. — His explanation to the Author. — He ad- 
dresses a letter and memorial to Frederick- William. — His 
recall. — Fatal results of the battle of Jena. — Memoir of 
Duke Louis of Wurtemberg. — His brother Henry. — That 
Prince's lavish expenditure upon his regiment. — Breach of 
promise on the part of the King of Prussia. — Quarrel 
between his Majesty and Duke Henry. — Their recon- 
ciliation. — Mademoiselle Caroline Alexi, daughter of the 
director of the theatre at Oels. 

Before the battle of Austerlitz, the Em- 
peror Napoleon, being at that time at Stut- 
gard, had several conferences with Prince Eu- 
gene of Wurtemberg, (then a general in the 
service of Prussia,) relative to the views with 
which the King was about to enter into the 
coalition proposed to him by the two Em- 
perors, of Austria and Russia. The result of 


these conferences was, that Prince Eugene was 
to depart in all haste for Berlin, where he 
would probably find also the Emperor Alexan- 
der, and immediately to put into action all his 
influence and zeal to dissuade the King from 
acceding to the propositions of his old allies. 
There can be no doubt that great promises 
were made by Buonaparte to the Prince, in 
case he should succeed in abstracting Frederick 
William from the cause of the coalesced mo- 

Eugene had no sooner arrived in Berlin, 
than he commenced his efforts. He went to 
present himself to the King, who was, together 
with his august friend, the Russian monarch, 
at Potsdam. No sooner did Frederick Wil- 
liam become conscious of the Prince's purpose, 
than he ran into Alexander's apartment to in- 
form him thereof. The Russian monarch was 
extremely surprised that his uncle. Prince Eu- 
gene, should suffer himself to be entangled in 
the meshes of Napoleon, and was in fact so 
much offended at his presuming to charge 
himself with such a commission, that he re- 
fused to see him, and requested the King to 
send him back on the instant to Custrin, the 
head-quarters of the Prussian army of reserve, 
whereof the Prince was Commander-in-chief. 


Extremely vexed at the ill success of his 
mission, and still more so at the bad interpre- 
tation which his august relatives had put upon 
it, the Prince returned to Berlin, and lodged 
under the linden-trees, at the same hotel with 
the author of these sketches ; who, having en- 
joyed for a long period the confidence of Prince 
Eugene, and indeed of all the Royal Family of 
Wurtemberg, was honoured with an immedi- 
ate invitation. He hastened to pay his respects 
to the Prince ; and having been made acquaint- 
ed with the motives which had brought his Se- 
rene Highness hither, could not help express- 
ing his great surprise that, as imcle of the 
Emperor of Russia, and brother-in-law of the 
Emperor of Austria, he should have charged 
himself so zealouslv with the interests of their 
common enemy, and descended into a kind of 
hawker of diplomacy for Napoleon. But find- 
ing from the explanations of the Prince, that 
he had undertaken this embassy with the purest 
intentions, in order to save his King in these 
ca'itical moments, wherein his throne and king- 
dom were so greatly endangered ; — considering 
that the Emperor Francis was already obliged 
to abandon his capital, and leave it in the power 
of the conqueror ; — and that the Russian army 
would not be in a condition sufficiently strong 


to face that of Bonaparte, even in case of its 
reinforcement by the sixty thousand Prussian 
troops ; — under all these circumstances, the au- 
thor changed his opinion, and suggested that 
Prince Eugene should address a memorial to the 
King, which he would himself luidertake to get 
delivered to his Majesty. 

That same evening the Prince began to draw- 
up his memorial, to which he added a very pa- 
thetic letter. He detailed in it all the con- 
ferences which he had entered into with the 
French Emperor ; he exposed the views of this 
conqueror with respect to Austria, Russia, and 
Prussia; stated the strength of Napoleon's armies 
already in the field, and of those which were in 
a state of preparation to reinforce him : remarked 
upon the confidence entertained by that poten- 
tate in his good fortune, however great might 
be the obstacles opposed ; and added his (the 
Prince's) own conviction that, all things consi- 
dered, the star of Napoleon would undoubtedly 
retain the ascendancy. Under these circum- 
stances, he could not avoid presaging for the 
King, whom he considered as his master, a 
series of disasters, should he decide on taking 
part in the war ; and consequently felt it his 
duty, as a faithful servant, to declare the ex- 
tent of his apprehensions. In conclusion, the 


Prince implored his Majesty to regard this 
statement as proceeding from nothing but the 
most sincere attachment ; and to pause whilst 
yet there was time to avert the evils which 
seemed to overhang and threaten the safety 
and well-being of his dominions. 

On the ensuing morning, the author received 
this memorial from the hands of Prince Eu- 
gene, and having perused the paper, took it to 
the privy counsellor, M. Beyme, who, having 
previously been made aware of the reception 
his Majesty had given to his illustrious rela- 
tive, declined taking charge of it. The author 
conjured him, at any rate, to look over the 
document before he refused to forward it, and 
see if he discovered any thing which appeared 
improper. " Well," replied Beyme, " I have 
no objection to this. Leave the memorial with 
me ; return in two hours, and I shall mean- 
while have come to a decision, which I will 
frankly communicate to you." 

At the stipulated time, the author repaired 
again to M. Beyme, who received him with 
ardour, and said : — "I have read the memoir 
and letter of the Duke Eugene of Wurtem- 
berg ; both have touched me sensibly ; and 
I now regard it as a sacred duty which I owe 
to the King, to lay them before him this very 

VOL. I. X 


night ; and have every cause to think that his 
JMajesty will pay attention to their contents, 
and appreciate duly the weighty reasons therein 
advanced to dissuade him from joining the 
proposed coalition." The memorial and letter 
were then sealed, and taken to the monarch 
without delay. 

Frederick William, after having perused 
these documents in the presence of his privy 
counsellor, M. Beyme, was so affected and 
penetrated by the motives whereby the Duke 
Eugene had been palpably actuated, that he 
summoned his Serene Highness again to Pots- 
dam, and expressed deep regret that he had 
been before so ungraciously received. In the 
sequel, he tranquillized his worthy general as 
much as possible: but nevertheless remained 
firm in adhering to his prior intentions, and 
ordered Eugene to repair immediately to his 
corps d'arm^e, which was stationed at Castria 
and its environs. 

Prince Eugene had given the most decided 
proofs of foresight, and every thing which he 
predicted in his memorial unfortunately came 
to pass. The King of Prussia, in consequence 
of the steps then taken by him in opposition to 
the counsel of his best friends, lost in one day 


at Jena, in the course of the following year, 
1806, his throne and kingdom. 

This same Duke Eugene of Wurtemberg 
commanded at the battle of Jena, on the 14th 
of October 1806, the corps de reserve of the 
Prussian army. This corps was, in common with 
all the rest, attacked by the French cavalry 
with such impetuosity, tliat it was completely 
destroyed in the course of a few hours ; and its 
unfortunate leader was obliged to seek safety 
in flight, leaving to the French a portion of his 
equipage : and, to add to his chagrin, not only 
the officers and soldiers of the army in general, 
but even the hussars of his own proper regi- 
ment, reproached him as having betrayed his 
sovereign, and sold himself to Napoleon — an 
assertion, which, however false, when once 
started, irritated the troops to such a degree 
that they wilfully damaged and broke up the 
residue of his personal equipment. 

This prince was married to a princess of 
Stolberg Gedern, by whom he had several chil- 
dren. And at length, in 1807, he received, in 
common with his four brothers, the commands 
of Napoleon to retire into their native country 
of Wurtemberg — a command which was slight- 
ed by Duke Ferdinand, a Marshal in the Aus- 

X 2 


trian service, and Duke Alexander, a General 
in that of Russia. 

It is singular enough, that there appears to 
have always been some misunderstanding exist- 
ing between the King of Prussia and these 
princes of Wurtemberg — especially those who 
were in that monarch's own service, namely, 
Louis, Eugene, and Henry. The first-men- 
tioned was proprietor of a regiment of cuiras- 
siers, and had so involved himself in debt on 
account of this regiment, that he was obliged 
to part with his land at Wallisford, in Silesia, 
for the satisfaction of his creditors, and to re- 
tire into Russia, where he obtained from his 
nephew, the Emperor Alexander, the most fa- 
vourable reception. This prince, after being 
separated from his first wife, (a princess 
Czartoriska,) married the virtuous and beauti- 
ful princess Henrietta, of Nassau Wuilbourg, 
by whom he had several children, and amongst 
others, the present Queen of Wurtemberg. He 
died some years ago in circumstances of great 
privation, and in a species of exile into which 
he professed himself to have been driven on ac- 
count of his debts. 

Prince Henry was also in the Prussian ser- 
vice, being colonel of an Hussar regiment can- 
toned at Oels, in Silesia. Like his brother 


Louis, he was anxious to rival all other cavalry 
regiments in beauty and magnificence of equip- 
ment ; and in his endeavours to accomplish 
this object, spent not only the whole of his 
personal property, but likewise the sums which 
he had received by way of presents from his 
sister, the Empress-mother of Russia, and from 
the Emperor Alexander. Nor was all sufficient 
to prevent him from involving himself in pecu- 
niary difficulties. It is true, that he had one 
reasonable motive which induced him to make 
these outlays ; the King, at a review that took 
place in Silesia, was so struck with the excel- 
lent appearance of his kinsman's troops, that he 
exclaimed in a loud tone : — " My cousin, I 
must do you the justice to say that your regi- 
ment is the most beautiful, the best mounted, 
and the best exercised in my service ; and in 
order to afford you some recompense, I hereby 
nominate you its proprietor after the death of 
its actual chief. General Dolft." The Duke, 
full of pride and satisfaction at this public 
promise of his Majesty, employed all his means 
to embellish his corps still farther, with the full 
hope and confidence that, either in a few years, 
or in some arrangement with the present in- 
cumbent, he should find himself its positive 
ri master. 


Never was a wiser injunction given than 
" Put not your trust in princes." A few 
months only had elapsed, when General Dolft 
expired, and the King of Prussia scrupled not 
to bestow his regiment upon another indivi- 
dual, overlooking entirely the honest claim of 
Duke Henry, who, on receiving the intelli- 
gence, forgot all former relations between him- 
self and the oblivious monarch, and thought of 
nothing but the act of injustice wherewith he 
had been thus visited. Repairing to Berlin, 
he demanded an audience of the King ; but his 
Majesty, for reasons which the reader will not 
be backward in conceiving, did not judge it 
convenient to grant one. Not a whit intimi- 
dated, the Duke absolutely forced his entrance 
into the palace, penetrated to the royal closet, 
and reproaching his Majesty in no measured 
terms, concluded by demanding his conge, ex- 
claiming that he would no longer serve a 
sovereign who had so little respect for his 
pledged word. 

Kings cannot well brook defiance at any 
time, and least of all when conscious they have 
acted unworthily. Frederick William, there- 
fore, took refuge in anger from a sense of his 
own injustice. He retired, and gave orders for 
the dismissal of Prince Henry from his service; 

PRINCE henry's difficulties. 311 

at the same time enjoining the Governor of 
Silesia to take measures for compelling the 
Prince to make good all his pecuniary engage- 
ments, which amounted to the sum of 30,000 or 
40,000 crowns, chiefly expended in the vain 
labour of remounting and otherwise beautify- 
ing his favourite corps. These orders of Fre- 
derick William were so scrupulously fulfilled, 
that an execution was actually carried into the 
chateau inhabited by the Duke and his family, 
and levied even upon the very wardrobe of 
his wife. 

It may readily be imagined, that this Prince, 
of a strong, and at the same time, sensitive 
character, uncle of one emperor and brother-in- 
law of another, was quite indignant at this 
treatment, and no sooner became aware of it, 
than he gave the civil officers so smart a recep- 
tion as to incapacitate them from executing 
their purpose. 

An arrangement endued, by virtue whereof 
the debts of this Prince were gradually can- 
celled, being made chargeable ..upon the various 
branches of his estate ; and he retired, in the year 
1799, to Hamburgh, with his wife and family. 
When, at a subsequent period, the Empress- 
mother of Russia conceived a wish that her 
brother should become reconciled to the King, 


and re-enter his service, she charged the author, 
on his return from St. Petersburgh, with the 
expression of this desire to the illustrious par- 
ties concerned, and he is happy to say, that the 
result was most fortunate, and honourable to 
the conciliating disposition of his Prussian Ma- 
jesty. In the year 1805, the King invited 
Duke Henry to come to Berlin on the occasion 
of Prince Ferdinand's birth-day, and received 
and treated him with the same condescension 
and amenity as if their amicable relations had 
never been suspended. 

Prince Henry was married at Oels, in pre- 
sence of his two brothers, to Mademoiselle 
Caroline Alexi, daughter of the director of the 
theatre in that town, on whom he settled a 
pension, upon condition of his quitting the 
country. The Duke had, by this marriage, 
four or five children. In 1807, conformably to 
the orders of Napoleon, he retired into the king- 
dom of Wurtemberg, and fixed his residence in 
his chateau of Wiblingen, near Ulm. 



Apologetic Mission of Marshal Duroc, — Influence of the Queen 
of Prussia over her husband — Her attachment to the Rus- 
sian Imperial Family. — Manoeuvres of Duroc and theFrench 
ambassador at Berlin, to counteract the influence of the 
Queen. — Mademoiselle Augusta Schultz. — Plot formed 
against her by the Prussian oflicers of the garrison. — 
Interposition of the King in her favour. — Intrigues found- 
ed upon the latter circumstance. — Interview between the 
King and Augusta in the gardens of Charlottenbourg. — 
Rumours consequent thereupon, — Remonstrance of the 
Queen. — Her Majesty's precipitate departure for Pyrmont. 
— Personal sketches of the Prussian Royal Family. — 
Prince Louis Ferdinand, and his fate. — Prince Augustus 
and Madame Wichman. — Napoleon and the Duchess of 
Saxe Weimar. — Mission of the Canon Tam. — First entry of 
Bonaparte into Berlin. — His reception of the Prussian 
ministers. — Cause of the rupture between France and 
Prussia, which was followed by these events- — Unrelent- 
ing hatred of Frederick William to Napoleon, and his. 
equally earnest aflfection for the Emperor Alexander, 

In the year 180.5, Marshal Duroc was sent 
by the French Emperor to Berhn, charged with 
apologies for the violation of the Prussian ter- 


ritory by Marshal Beniadotte, who, on his way 
from Boulogne, had marched his corps d'armde, 
without permission asked, through the duchies 
of Anspach and Bayreuth, in order to rejoin, 
with greater promptitude, his Imperial master, 
who was with his troops in Swabia. 

This same Marshal Duroc, as well as the 
French ambassador at Berlin, perceived that 
Frederick- William was greatly influenced by 
her Majesty, the Queen, and as the latter was 
known to be very much attached to the Em- 
peror of Russia, and the whole of that august 
family, these two Frenchmen resolved to occa- 
sion, if possible, a little rupture between the 
King and Queen, for the purpose of counteract- 
ing this influence. However difficult this 
might seem at first sight, they had still hopes 
of effecting it through intrigues of some kind 
or other ; and after waiting some time for cir- 
cumstances to arise favourable to their scheme, 
they decided on taking advantage of the fol- 
lowing : 

Mademoiselle Augusta Schultz, daughter of 
the musician of that name, first-dancer at the 
opera of Berlin, a young female at once beauti- 
ful and skilful in her art, had excited the disap- 
probation of the officers of the garrison, in con- 
sequence of shutting the doors of her house 


against their intrusive visits. In order to re- 
venge this supposed affront, the high-spirited 
officers determined to hiss the poor girl the 
next time she should appear in public ; but, 
that every thing might proceed with due order 
and precision, the meditated step was prefaced 
by addressing a letter on the subject to Made- 
moiselle, in the name of the whole regiment — 
but without signature. 

The poor young woman, who was generally 
beloved in Berlin for her mild and respectable 
conduct, was so terrified at these menaces that 
she knew not how to act, in order to ward off 
an affront that seemed to her as inevitable as 
ruinous. On communicating with her friends, 
they counselled her to seek the interference of 
the Queen, who, they said, would doubtless ex- 
tend protection to an accomplished and vir- 
tuous female. She accordingly repaired to the 
royal palace : but, on presenting herself as a 
candidate for admission, mistook the directions 
that were given, and instead of pursuing her 
way to the apartments of the Queen, found 
herself suddenly in the presence of Frederick- 
William himself. His Majesty, after having 
heard her story, inquired, — " When do you 
next propose to perform ?" She replied, '* The 
day after to-morrow. Sire, in the ballet of ' Le 


Voyage de Cyth^re.' " *' Fear nothing," re- 
sumed the King, " dance away ; I shall be at 
the theatre." 

Mademoiselle Schultz, perfectly tranquillized, 
went and commenced rehearsal and other pre- 
parations, to enable her to appear with more 
iclat than ever ; whilst, on the other hand, the 
gallant officers, ignorant of what had passed, 
and still more enraged at her neglect of their 
letter, resolved to pelt her with oranges and 
rotten apples, if she should have the audacity, 
as they termed it, to come forward. 

Next morning, the King, attending at the 
parade, caused all the officers to assemble, and 
informed them through the commandant of 
the town, General Gotz, that his INIajesty had 
been made aware of their mean plot against the 
opera-dancer, Mademoiselle Schultz, and that 
he was both surprised and ashamed at it. He 
ordered that all the officers who were not en- 
gaged upon duty, should attend the theatre in 
the evening, when he should himself be pre- 
sent; and added, that the first among them who 
should be guilty of interrupting public order in 
the slightest degree, should be arrested by the 
])olice, and punished with the utmost severity. 
l*articular instructions were jiivcn also to the 


President of Police, and every precaution taken 
to prevent the least disturbance. 

On the night of the ballet, the King and 
all his family went to the theatre. The com- 
mandant of the town, Baron de Gotz, and Ge- 
neral Euslen, were in their boxes, and the chief 
police-officers occupied one near to that of the 
King. During the overture to the ballet, his 
Majesty, contrary to his usual custom, showed 
himself conspicuously to the audience; the 
curtain rose, and a few minutes after, Made- 
moiselle Schultz made her entrance : but in- 
stead of hisses, instead of a regular bombard- 
ment, she was received with universal applause, 
in which the King himself condescended to 
join. Such is the omnipotence of royalty ! 

The intrigue of the Prussian officers thus 
fell to the ground; not so, however, that of 
the French authorities, which arose, phcenix- 
like, from its ashes. They paid court to Made- 
moiselle Schultz, whom they instructed to 
think that the King was smitten with her 
charms, adducing as a proof of this, the ad- 
venture of the theatre. In short, they led this 
simple-minded young woman to beheve that 
the time was arrived when her fortune was in 
I her own hands, if she chose to grasp it. In a 


subsequent interview, they persuaded her that 
she might reasonably aspire to be the King's 
avowed mistress, and would, in all probability, 
be elevated to the rank of the nobility, and 
created baroness, countess, or, in a word, what- 
ever she chose, if she would follow the advice 
of her friends. As she was poor, they supplied 
her with money, in order that she might be 
enabled to take an airing occasionally in the 
gardens of Charlottenbourg, and thence be 
under the eye of the King. Every thing was 
well arranged, and it turned out that, quite ac- 
cidentally, she was one day met by his Majesty, 
who, recognizing his old acquaintance, began 
to converse with her — no doubt, respecting 
matters of the most general and indifferent 
kind. The plot was now in a state to explode. 
Two days after, Berlin resounded with the 
rimiour that IVIademoiselle Augusta Schultz 
was declared the regular mistress of the King ; 
that she was to have a chateau at Charlotten- 
bourg and another at Potsdam, besides a town 
house ; and the poor girl, who was, despite her 
charms, a little destitute of understanding, re- . 
garded all as matter-of-fact, and reckoned in 
consequence upon future grandeur. 

Kumouif of tins nature soon reached tlie 
ears of the Queen. Her INIajesty was not slow 


in recollecting the interest which her consort 
had taken in the concerns of this poor girl, nor 
was she sujSered to remain ignorant of the im- 
portant fact, that the King had met her in his 
promenade, and had entered into conversation 
with her. 

Her Majesty, fully convinced that these 
rencontres were nothing more than accidental, 
and that the floating rumours were merely sup- 
positions destitute of any foundation, believed » 
nevertheless, that it was her duty to speak to 
her august spouse, and to warn him of what 
the public of every class augured respecting all 
these incidents. 

As it happened, the King, instead of being 
piqued at her representations, treated the 
Queen's story with nonchalance, laughed there- 
at, and appeared to regard it simply as matter 
of amusement. It was quite otherwise on the 
part of his spouse, who viewed the affair in the 
most serious light ; and it is generally sup- 
posed that this little altercation was the first 
which these illustrious persons had undergone 
since their union. 

The discussion, in all probability, must have 
been rather of a sharp nature, since the Queen, 
who never either travelled without the com- 
pany of her spouse, or abandoned her childrenj 


departed alone and in haste for the baths of 
Pyrmont. But, contrary to all expectation, the 
King, getting scent of these unworthy intrigues, 
and thinking, in consequence, that his wife 
had some cause to feel hurt, proceeded in- 
stantly to rejoin her at Pyrmont, and brought 
her back again to the metropolis. 

The Prussian police penetrated all this 
scheme instituted by the French envoys, and 
unveiled its secret agents, several of whom 
were denounced by INlademoiselle Schultz her- 
self, who received a sharp reprimand, quitted 
the theatre, and some time after married a mer- 
chant at Hamburgh. 

The good understanding between this illus- 
trious couple was never after interrupted, until 
the sorrowful moment when death snatched 
away her JNlajesty the Queen, whose virtues 
and grandeur of soul would have done honour 
to the proudest throne in the world. 

It is known, that the brother of the great 
Frederick left two sons, the youngest of whom. 
Prince Ferdinand, remained with all his family 
at Berlin during the occupation of the king- 
dom by the French ; and this venerable indi- 
vidual deported himself the whole time in a 
manner so sage and circumspect, that there was 


never the least complaint raised against him by 
the French authorities. 

This Prince had three childi-en, Louis Fer- 
dinand, Augustus, and a princess, who married 
a member of the house of Radzivil, remarkable 
at once for his handsome person and his po- 

Prince Louis Ferdinand, the first-born, was 
proprietor of an infantry regiment cantoned at 
Magdeburg and Breslau ; he was the most ac- 
complished of all the Royal Family, and his 
amiability made him beloved and admired by 
every one who approached him. Unfortu- 
nately, however, he was always backward in 
money matters, being kept poor by inordinate 
fondness for pleasures. He had five or six 
children by one of his mistresses ; and in the 
full zest of enjoyments of various kinds, he 
altogether overlooked the increasing demands 
upon his coffers. In 1798, he came to Ham- 
burgh, where he played sundry strange pranks 
with a certain Prince and Princess Poninsky. 
The King, informed of all, despatched Colonel 
de Massenbach to Hamburgh to aiTCst Louis 
Ferdinand and place him in confinement at 
Magdeburg. As the Prince was exceedingly 
precipitate in character, they were rather fear- 

VOL. I. Y 


ful of proceeding to extremities with him ; but 
at the time of Colonel Massenbach's arrival, his 
Serene Highness was in bed — and not alone. 
He received his unwelcome visitor with the 
greatest coolness, as he did also the commands 
of the King, simply requesting the Colonel to 
allow him two days' reprieve to arrange his 
affairs, at the termination of which, he followed 
his conductor to Magdeburg, and awaited re- 
signedly the ultimate orders of the King, 

Prince Louis Ferdinand cherished at all 
times the most bitter animosity against the 
King; and when, in September 1806, he soli- 
cited a command in the Prussian army, then in 
march, his INIajesty, acting somewhat in the 
spirit of David toward Uriah, attached him to 
the advanced-guard, where he was killed in an 
affair of out-posts upon the borders of the Saal, 
in the very flower of his age. 

His brother. Prince Augustus, was likewise 
in the military service, and lived publicly with 
Mademoiselle Wichman, daughter of the sculp- 
tor of that name, by whom he had five or six 
children. At the solicitation of his mother. 
Princess Ferdinanda, the King raised Mademoi- 
selle Wichman to the dignity of the peerage, 
under the title of Baroness, with remainder to 
her descendants. 


The Princess de Radzivil, only daughter of 
Prince Ferdinand, was beloved, not only by 
the Queen and Court, but generally by all 
classes of the inhabitants of Berlin. She had 
a large family, and her husband being poor, 
while, at the same time, to keep up his rank as 
cousin to the King, he was compelled to live 
in an expensive way ; he hence grew much em- 
barrassed in his circumstances, and it was by 
no means rare to encounter in his antichamber 
landreuters, or bailiffs. The nobility of the 
metropolis were accustomed to attribute this 
straitened condition of the Prince's pecuni- 
ary matters to the narrowness of his father-in- 
law, who would not assist him with a single 
crown beyond the annual sum settled in the 
contract of marriage, as his daughter's dowry ; 
whilst the King, knowing that his fair cou- 
sin's father was extremely rich, declined con- 
tributing any thing for their relief. 

After the battle of Jena, Napoleon proceed- 
ed to Weimar. Entering the palace of the 
reigning Duke, who was then attached to the 
Prussian cause, and commanding one of the 
corps d'arm^e of Frederick-William ; he found 
the Duchess, at the head of her little court, 
drawn out with all due ceremony to receive him. 
Napoleon, without exhibiting the least mark of 

Y 2 


complaisance, said to the Grand-duchess, in 
a rouffh tone, " Make me some tea." Her Se- 
rene Highness, at once surprised and indignant 
at this ungallant reception, turned to one of 
her chamberlains, and requested him to order 
tea to be served to his Majesty the Emperor. 

Napoleon, recollecting afterwards that he 
had been wanting in courtesy to this lady, 
went to pay her a visit, and in the conversa- 
tion which ensued, remarked both spirit and 
judgment in the Duchess. Asking her how it 
came that her husband was so imprudent as to 
serve in the army of his enemy, and thereby to 
expose thus his family, his country, and his 
subjects to the evils of war, the Duchess re- 
plied with great candour, " Sire, my husband 
has been in the service of the King of Prussia 
ever since his infancy. We owe every thing 
to that sovereign : what would you have 
thought of the Duke, Sire, if he had aban- 
doned the Prussian cause at the moment when 
the King had most need of his services ?" The 
Emperor was charmed with these representa- 
tions. He gave orders that, as much as pos- 
sible, the state of Weimar, and especially the 
residence of its Sovereign, should be respected 
and spared. After having taken leave of her 
Serene Highness, he said to Marshal Berthier, 


" If the Duke of Saxe Weimar is animated by 
the same principles and sentiments as this ami- 
able woman, I regret deeply having given him 
any cause to complain of me." 

Soon after this same battle of Jena, the 
King of Prussia, being on the road from Cus- 
trin to Konigsberg, summoned to him the cele- 
brated canon Tam, who then dwelt at Pots- 
dam, and lived in close amity with the cabinet 
counsellor M. Beyme, and who, besides, had 
been several times introduced to the presence 
of the Royal Family. As the canon spoke 
French fluently, His Majesty charged him to 
go and solicit a presentation to the Emperor 
Napoleon, and request, in the name of the 
King, the victor's clemency in behalf of the 
Prussian capital and its unfortunate inhabit- 
ants. The canon accordingly sought and ob- 
tained an interview with the all-powerful Cor- 
sican, whom he came up with in a little se- 
cluded village near Wittenberg, in Saxony. 

Napoleon listened complacently to the repre- 
sentations of this envoy, and gave orders in his 
presence to Marshal Berthier, that the corps 
d'armee destined for the occupation of Berlin 
should be diminished in number, and that the 
commander-in-chief should be instructed to 
visit the necessary evils of war upon the people 


of the capital as lightly as circumstances per- 

The canon Tam, delighted at the success of 
his embassy, returned in haste to communicate 
the same to his Prussian Majesty, who, at once 
affected and reassured, continued his route for 
Eastern Prussia, always preceded by the Queen 
and her children. 

This same diplomatist Tam has for several 
years past quitted the service of Prussia, and 
is now engaged in that of the King of Eng- 
land, holding a commission in the 60th re- 

When Napoleon made his first entry into 
Berlin, by the Brandenburgh gate, at the head 
of a numerous staff, and amidst an immense 
crowd, which pressed forward on all sides to 
obtain a glance at the hero of the day ; a cry 
arose of " Long live the Emperor !" but Na- 
poleon, feeling annoyed, instead of compli- 
mented, by these vmmeaning acclamations, 
which, in truth, proceeded chiefly from the 
agents of the police, said aloud to one of his 
aides-de-camp, " Silence that man !" 

Arrived at his chateau, he found, amongst 
others, the Prussian ministers Hatzfelt, Voss, 
and Beyme, who had remained in Berlin, and 
formed, previously to the entry of the French, 


a sort of provisional government. As they 
knew nothing of the mission, akeady alluded 
to, of the canon Tarn, they began sedulously to 
recommend to the favourable notice of the Em- 
peror, the " good city" and citizens of Berlin. 
Napoleon, having heard them out, rejoined, in 
a tone of severity, " It is you, gentlemen, who 
are the occasion of this war ; you alone do I 
accuse ; your King, I am persuaded, 'would 
never have undertaken it but for your insinua- 
tions. You have caused prayers to be offered 
in the churches, and songs to be chanted in 
the theatres, recommending the war with Na- 
poleon, and calling it a just and a proper war. 
Well ! you have had it, and here I am, you 
fools ! 40,000 French soldiers shall be quar- 
tered for three months at Berlin, and you Avill 
afterwards be able to tell me whether or not 
this war is proper. Hence ! begone !" 

This harsh reception did not well agree with 
the promises made by the victorious Emperor 
to the canon Tam, only a few days previously ; 
it is, however, not the less matter of fact, and 
can be vouched both by the canon himself, who 
is now in London, and by Marshal Victor, who 
at that moment was in the presence of Na- 

It is a well-established fact, familiar to all 


who had the honour of any intercourse vvitli 
the Prussian King and Royal Family, or with 
his ministers of that period, that every effort 
was previously used to avert the necessity of a 
breach with the French government. Spite of 
the representations which the King often re- 
ceived from the English Cabinet, more particu- 
larly in 1804, when his Britannic Majesty sent 
a great Embassy to Berlin (of which, the la- 
mented Mr. Canning made a part) : spite of 
the renewed solicitations of the Emperors of 
Russia and Austria, who exliausted every art 
to win over Frederick- William ; the King re- 
mained thoughout firm to his pacific princi- 
ples, and determined not to hazard the well- 
being of his people, and probably the safety of 
his throne, to serve the views or gratify the 
splenetic disposition of others. Thus, notwith- 
standing the army of Eastern Prussia, which 
was on a war establishment, received orders to 
put itself in march for Berlin, Frederick- Wil- 
liam would in all probability not have depart- 
ed from the line of conduct he had traced out, 
had not the Emperor Napoleon committed the 
great injustice, as has already appeared, of vio- 
lating the Prussian territory. 

A dispatch announcing this circumstance 
was sent to the metropolis by General Tauen- 


zein, (commander-in-chief of the Duchies of 
Anspach and Bayreuth,) wherein every detail 
was given of the offensive transaction, which 
Bernadotte had considerably aggravated by his 
hauteur and menaces. The King was so sur- 
prised and so disconcerted upon receiving in- 
telligence of this unfair proceeding on the part 
of a prince avowedly his friend, that he was 
unwilling for some time to accord it full cre- 
dence : he commissioned an officer of the ord- 
nance to go to the spot and bring a correct 
account of the whole affair; but scarce had 
this individual departed on his mission, before 
a second dispatch arrived from General Tauen- 
zein, announcing that Bernadotte had com- 
pelled him to retire, and had passed with all 
his division to rejoin Napoleon at Augsbourg. 

It will be readily imagined that the two 
sovereigns, Alexander and Francis, as well as 
the English ministry, knew how to profit by 
this ill-timed occurrence. They blew the inci- 
pient sparks of anger and resentment enter- 
tained by Frederick- William into a flame ; 
they dwelt upon the perfidy of this step, and 
the abject spirit which would be manifested by 
submitting to it ; whilst, on the other hand. 
Napoleon, aware that this would be the policy 
of the coalesced monarchs, commissioned JMar- 


shal Duroc, as we have already seen, to convey 
an autograph letter from him to the King of 
Prussia, to make excuses and explain the mo- 
tives which had induced him to commit this 
breach of good faith. 

But his Prussian IMajesty, after reading the 
letter, and giving audience to Marshal Duroc, 
instead of being satisfied thereby, became still 
more irritated, and commenced a reply in the 
following terms : 

" That his Majesty could not help observdng, 
that the motives and reasons alleged in the 
letter of the Emperor Napoleon to excuse his 
violation of the Prussian territory, in the mid- 
dle of peace and of a union most perfect, are 
still more offensive than the violation itself: 
that his Majesty, after experiencing such treat- 
ment at the hands of the French Emperor, 
should feel called on to renew his relations 
with the neighbouring powers, in order to con- 
cert in common measures calculated to guaran- 
tee his preservation in future from similar 
vexations ; and that he would lose no time in 
forwarding his ultimatum to the Emperor Na- 
poleon, wherein he would state on what con- 
ditions pacific and amicable relations may con- 
tinue to exist between his Majesty and the 
French nation." 


We have already seen the result of the mis- 
sion wherewith Haugwitz had been charged 
by the Prussian monarch ; but, notwithstand- 
ing the armies of the two Emperors had been 
completely defeated at the battle of Austerlitz, 
and notwithstanding the political situation of 
these sovereigns became daily more and more 
critical, the King of Prussia persisted in the 
sentiments of animosity which had now been 
awakened in his bosom against his former ally ; 
and, urged on by his ministers, his great ambi- 
tion was to bring into the field an army more 
formidable than any previously under the com- 
mand of the Prussian government, even in the 
days of Frederick the Great. Every prepara- 
tion, indeed, was made for a conflict of the 
most furious description. 

The indignation aroused in the mind of Fre- 
derick-William by the imprudent conduct of 
Bernadotte, or rather of Napoleon, was never 
after subdued. Neither the disastrous termi- 
nation of this war, nor the friendly conferences 
between the sovereigns at Tilsit, after the bat- 
tle of Friedland, nor the delicate and gene- 
rous behaviour of Napoleon toward the Queen ; 
nothing, in fact, could reproduce that sentiment 
of friendship which he once entertained for the 
Emperor of the French. All the transactions? 


and all the measures, apparently amicable, 
which subsequently went on at the cabinet of 
Berlin ; as well as the convention of Neu- 
brandebourg, in the duchy of Strelitz, (in 1812,) 
when the French armies were making towards 
the frontiers of Russia, — all were the effects 
either of constraint or fear : for it was the uni- 
versal conviction in the metropolis, that in case 
his Prussian Majesty had not adhered at the 
latter epoch to the propositions of Bonaparte, 
Marshal Davoust would have commenced his 
operations by seizing upon Priegnitz and Prus- 
sian Pomerania, in order to reach with greater 
facility the frontiers of the great Northern Em- 
pire, whilst the grand army would in like man- 
ner have taken possession of the three marches 
of Brandenbourg, in order to penetrate through 
them to the borders of the Vistula. 

The justness of these reflections is in some 
measure illustrated by the exploits and conduct 
of General Gorck, who commanded the auxi- 
liary forces of Eastern Prussia, and Avho, on the 
occasion of Napoleon's overthrow in Russia 
and disastrous retreat from Moscow, ranged 
himself on the side of the triumphant party, 
and contributed with hearty zeal to destroy 
utterly the armies of the French emperor, with 

EMPEROR Alexander's conduct. 333 

whom, only a few months before, an amicable 
convention had been concluded by his sove- 

The Author cannot forbear remarkins" in this 
place, that the ultimate safety of the Prussian 
monarchy, and perhaps of the whole of Europe, 
was in a great degree owing to the friendship 
originated between the Emperor of Russia and 
Frederick- William at their interviews at Mem el, 
and afterwards at Berlin, in 1805. It was owing 
alone to the zealous interposition of the former 
potentate that Napoleon was prevailed on to 
leave his Prussian Majesty in possession of the 
greater part of his dominions. These affection- 
ate ties were also strengthened through the in- 
timacy which the Queen had contracted with 
the Emperor Alexander and the Grand-duke 
Constantine; and still more during the six 
weeks' sojourn of the Prussian Royal Family at 
St. Petersburgh. Finally, the two sovereigns 
became so fondly attached to each other, that 
no consideration whatever was sufficiently pow- 
erful to disunite them. 

To this may be added, that the Prince de 
Hardenberg likewise contributed, by his sage 
and prudent conduct, by his open-heartedness 
and persuasive manners, with various confer- 


ences between the sovereigns, and still more, 
by his eloquence at the general congress, to 
ameliorate on all occasions the lot of his 
sovereign and the august 'Royal Family, as 
well as to maintain the honour of the Prussian 



Misrepresentations respecting the death of the Queen of 
Prussia. — Authentic account of her indisposition, and its 
fatal result. — Her Majesty's last moments. — Her inter- 
ment in a chapel built for the purpose at Charlottenbourg. 
— The Grand-duke Constantine of Russia. — His popu- 
larity at the Court of Berlin. — A scene at the Opera. — 
Mademoiselle Hentchel. — Her beauty, and the intimation 
of a visit to her from Constantine. — Preparations for 
his Imperial Highness's reception. — The Grand-duke's 
disappointment, and precipitate retreat. — Departure of 
Major Schill from Berlin, in 1805. — Interviews between 
him and the Author. — His presage of his own fate. — The 
female patriot, IMadame Obermann. — Biographical sketch 
of her Royal Highness the present Duchess of Cumber- 

The public in general, and more especially 
the malignant or ignorant part thereof, have 
attributed the fatal disorder and premature 
death of the late Queen of Prussia to some 
sinister cause. This unworthy insinuation will 
be sufficiently disproved by the following rela- 


tion, which was comraimicated to the Author 
by M. Heym, physician in ordinary to her 
Majesty, and by whom she was never quitted 
during the whole course of her malady. 

In the month of June 1810, the Queen, 
finding herself a little indisposed, in order to 
enjoy a purer and more salubrious air, quitted 
Charlottenburg, and, accompanied by the King, 
repaired to the summer residence of her fa- 
ther, the Duke of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, at 
Hohenzieritz, one hundred and twenty miles 
from Berlin. The King returned to the me- 
tropolis, and received every day an account of 
the health of his august spouse, as well from 
herself as from the physicians in attendance. 
These successive tidings, although they ful- 
filled not the wishes and hopes of his Majesty, 
were, on the other hand, by no means of an 
alarming nature; until, on the 18th of July, a 
courier extraordinary arrived at Berlin, by 
whom M. Heym announced to his Majesty, 
that the illness of the Queen had assumed an 
alarming character, and that his Majesty was 
implored, if he was desirous of having a last 
interview with his illustrious consort, to repair 
with the utmost possible promptitude to Ho- 

Frederick- William, penetrated with the 


most sincere and profound grief, departed from 
Berlin the same evening, leaving orders that 
his children should follow in the course of a 
few hours. After a very rapid journey, he ar- 
rived at six o'clock in the morning, at the 
chateau, where he was received by the Duke, 
his father-in-law, and the sons of that poten- 
tate ; all plunged in the deepest affliction. His 
Majesty immediately entered the apartment of 
the Queen, who met him with a tender and 
complacent smile. She expressed her surprise 
at his speedy arrival. " Am I then," said she, 
pressing his hands in her own — " am I so ill, 
that you have been obliged to travel all night 
to see me ?" The King, in order to tranquil- 
lize her, answered, that he had been induced to 
travel by night, in order to avoid the extreme 
heat. The august couple had been alone toge- 
ther for the space of an hour, when the Queen 
was suddenly seized with strong convulsions. 
Her family, and the physician in waiting, ap- 
proached the bed of the sufferer, to receive 
her last sighs ; but regaining her conscious- 
ness, and seeing the King, together with her 
father and brothers, gathered around, she took 
her husband's hand, and made a sign for the 
rest to v/ithdraw. A few minutes after, she 
said to his Majesty, " I am indeed very ill, 
VOL. I. z 


and perceive that my end approaches." She 
then made sundry requests, all of which the 
King ])romised strictly to fulfil ; and scarcely 
had the royal patient manifested these her 
wishes, when the agonies of death supervened. 
The King called aloud for assistance : his kins- 
men and attendants re-entered ; and the 
Queen, after having earnestly pronounced the 
name of her beloved husband, rendered up her 
soul to God, in the arms of her inconsolable 

It is said that, among other final requests, 
the Queen conjured her husband not to marry 
a second time ; but, by abstaining from so do- 
ing, to honour her memory ; that she begged 
also not to be interred in the royal cemetery, 
but that a chapel might be erected over her re- 
mains in an alley of weeping willows, in the 
gardens of Charlottenburg. 

The King, quitting this melancholy scene, 
descended into the grounds attached to the 
chateau, in a state impossible to be described ; 
and while he was almost suffocated with sobs, 
his children arriving from Berlin, and seeing 
their father in the garden, requested permission 
of him to have access to their mother. *' You 
have no mother!" exclaimed the bereft hus- 
band, weeping hysterically : " you are orphans: 


we have lost all that was most dear to us in the 
world !" 

Next day, after giving orders respecting the 
conveyance of the Queen's remains, Frederick- 
William departed from this place of desolation, 
and returned to Berlin, where he continued six 
days shut up with his children. 

Directions were issued at Berlin, not only 
by the military governor, but by the civil au- 
thorities also, respecting the arrangement of the 
funeral solemnities: and on the 2!8th of July, 
towards, two o'clock in the afternoon, the 
mournful procession reached the Brandenbourg 
gate, preceded and followed by regiments of 
the body-guard, and of cuirassiers. Words 
cannot express the deep affliction and grief 
wherein all the inhabitants of the metropolis 
appeared to be plunged, when the mortal re- 
mains of this adored Queen were brought 
amongst them. They were received by his 
Majesty and the royal family at the foot of the 
grand staircase of the palace ; and, after lying- 
in state three days and three nights, were 
transferred to the church appertaining to the 
court, until the chapel was completed at Char- 
lottenbourg, according to the last wishes of the 

A great deal of misrepresentation has taken 

z 2 


place respecting the conduct of the Grand- 
duke Constantine, during his sojourn in Ber- 
lin, in the year 1805. On this subject, the 
Author feels himself enabled to speak with con- 
fidence ; inasmuch as he was witness to many 
of the circumstances thus mistated. 

The Grand-duke visited Berlin for the pur- 
pose of seeing if the necessary activity was on 
foot to prepare for the war of the coalition. 
Whilst there, his Imperial Highness captivated 
all hearts by his amiable manners, attracting 
particularly the esteem and good opinion of the 
Queen, who was delighted with his vivacity, 
loved his society, and appeared with him at 
most of the public places. 

One evening, these illustrious personages 
were at the opera together ; the Grand-duke, 
from respect, and according to his usual cus- 
tom, keeping behind the Queen's chair. Thb 
ballet was " Armide," in which Mademoiselle 
Hentchel, among the other performers, distin- 
guished herself so highly as to receive the loud- 
est acclamations. Dining the representation, 
some talk occurred between her INIajesty and 
her Imperial companion, touching the pecu- 
liar talent of this dancer; and as her Ma- 
jesty seemed to prefer Mademoiselle Augusta 
Schultz, (before spoken of,) the Grand-duke, 


who had been much fascinated by the rival 
performer, took her part earnestly, and, in the 
little debate which ensued, used somewhat too 
much volubility, and elevated his voice inso- 
much that he became audible in the pit. Four 
individuals, who found or fancied themselves 
annoyed by this, had the indecorum to attempt, 
by hissing, to impose silence on the Queen and 
the Grand- duke. Her Majesty, indignant at 
this instance of presumption, communicated it 
to the President of Police, who immediately 
took steps calculated to render those fastidious 
persons more respectful in future towards their 

Constantine, quite intoxicated v/ith the 
beauty of Mademoiselle Hentchel, and charmed 
by the talent and grace which she displayed 
in the i-epresentation of " Armide," sent word 
to the young actress that in two days he pro- 
posed to pay her a visit " after leaving the thea- 
tre." Mademoiselle Hentchel, who, although 
extremely handsome, had no great sharpness 
of apprehension, was quite in raptures at this 
announcement, placing the anticipated honour 
of the Grand-duke's visit purely to the ac- 
count of the ability she had manifested in her 
profession. She therefore made every prepa- 
ration to receive this instance of Imperial ho- 


mage in due form. She caused a magnificent 
collation to be provided, and invited several 
persons to meet and welcome his Highness ; 
amonsrst others the Baron de Mertens and 
the Author ; and, that no portion of cere- 
mony should be wanting, she illuminated every 
step of the staircase that conducted to her 

At the appointed hour Constantine arrived, 
and nothing doubting that his intimation had 
been "properly understood," (although somewhat 
startled by the lights on the staircase,) he entered 
the apartments of the fair dansetise, accomipsimed 
by his aid-de-camp, Colonel Alexandroff, both 
carefully wrapped in huge cloaks. As soon as 
Mademoiselle Hentchel came to receive him, 
the Grand-duke, without the slightest cere- 
mony, and with his accustomed liveliness of 
manner, addressed to her a whole string of 
compliments. He then turned to a harpsicord 
which stood in the room, and endeavoured to 
draw a few notes from it ; perceiving which. 
Mademoiselle Hentchel asked if he would like 
her to play the overture of the ballet of 
" Armide," wherewith he had expressed himself 
so much pleased. Constantine answered in the 
affirmative ; and, charmed with her powders of 
execution, grew still more lavish in praise of 


his fair enslaver. Indeed, he waxed warmer 
and warmer in his addresses, and would in all 
probability have swiftly manifested the real 
purpose of his visit, had not Mademoiselle pro- 
posed an adjournment into the next room, 
wherein refreshments were set forth. The 
gentlemen complied; but what was his sur- 
prise and disconcertment, when, on the folding 
doors being thrown open. Baron de Mertens 
presented himself, and a whole bevy of com- 
pany appeared ranged behind him! This re- 
ception was more than his Highness had bar- 
gained for. Hastily wishing Mademoiselle Hent- 
chel good-night, he summoned AlexandrofF, 
snatched up his cloak, and retired " in the ut- 
most disorder." In descending the staircase, 
which they did with great precipitation, the 
trains of their mantles caught the ropes where- 
to the lamps were affixed, and down came the 
whole apparatus ; glasses, and oil, and garlands 
tumbling in " confusion dire," and with no 
small uproar, about the feet of the adventurous 
pair. Having reached the street, they jumped 
into a coach and disappeared. This incident 
gave birth to a good deal of raillery, and not a 
little misrepresentation. 

The circumstances which attended, we may 
say occasioned, the departure of Major Schill 


from Berlin, have hitherto remained undis- 
closed. The Author became acquainted with 
them in a way which will, he thinks, be admitted 
an authentic one, as he knew the Major inti- 
mately, and, in truth, took himself a part in the 
execution of that measure. 

According to the convention of 1808, it was 
stipulated that the French should evacuate 
Berlin, which was to be immediately re-occu- 
pied by the Prussian forces. It was JMajor 
Schill, who, with his little corps of from four 
to five thousand men, went to take possession 
of the capital, in the month of December 1809- 
Some time after, part of the city authorities, in 
concert with certain high persons, prevailed on 
the INlajor to commence a war of partisans 
against the French wdth his small cotys (Varmee 
and to march upon Magdebourg, where he was 
to join an Austrian corps stationed in the envi- 
rons of that fortress. 

Schill, thus excited, and stimulated moreover 
by daily reports, that in the country towns and 
villages his signal and presence were alone want- 
ing to urge them to insurrection ; — informed 
likewise that, after a very short interval, he 
would find himself at the head of twenty thou- 
sand men, and that even at Magdebourg and in 
the duchy of Mecklenburgh, all the population 


was animated in his favour, — set at length, in 
good earnest, about making preparations for a 
renewal of activity. 

In the midst of his preparations, however, 
this intrepid soldier did not overlook the pru- 
dential point of investigating whether the re- 
ports that were delivered to him were correct. 
He accordingly despatched emissaries in the 
directions mentioned, and learned on their re- 
turn that the facts were diametrically op- 
posite. Surprised, disappointed, and embar- 
rassed, he sought the Author, and addressed 
him as follows : — " My dear friend, affairs are 
not so encouraging as we have been led to 
imagine. I have received precise information, 
and such as 1 can rely on, to the contrary ; 
however, the prevailing wish seems to be, 
that I should undertake the enterprise : but I 
am too sensible of the duty imposed on me, 
not to hazard wantonly the lives of my brave 
soldiers. Send me, I pray you, .under some 
pretext or other, to Konigsberg, where I may, 
before any step is taken, have an audience of 
the King." 

The Author replied, that this was beyond his 
power, since there were certain persons parti- 
cularly designated to carry communications to 
and from his Majesty; adding, that every thing 


wliich regarded warlike operations was out 
of liis jurisdiction. He therefore advised the 
major to consult with the military authori- 

" Well !" rejoined Schill : " but there is 
another matter equally important — I have no 
money." " I will do my utmost," replied his 
interlocutor, '* to procure a supply for you :" 
and, in the sequel, he succeeded in getting from 
Madame Obermann the sum of six thousand 

A few days afterwards, the major came to 
make his adieux. His air was gay, yet there 
seemed to lurk underneath an emotion of sor- 
row and restraint. " It is decided!" exclaimed 
he : " they are resolved that 1 shall depart. 
Farewell, my friend ! we shall see each other 
no more !" — Next morning, under pretext of 
exercising the troops — for it was necessary to 
use every precaution, since there was still at 
Berlin a French military depot — he left the 
capital never to return. 

The subsequent brief career of this courage- 
ous and amiable man is pretty generally known. 
Conducting his little troop in the direction of 
Magdebourg, he fell in with a Westphalian 
corps d'ormee : this he engaged ; but being 
shortly after surrounded by three divisions, 



which came from three several points, he was 
compelled to retire in disorder to Stralsund, 
where he met his death. Fourteen of his of- 
ficers, taken prisoners in that town, were con- 
ducted to Wesel, and there shot. 

The French government was no sooner ap- 
prised of this event, than they instituted a com- 
mission to ferret out whether his Prussian Ma- 
jesty, or his ministers, took any part in the en- 
terprise of Schill : but they found means effec- 
tually to conceal the fact, and place the entire 
onus of this breach of the convention upon the 
shoulders of the unfortunate major. 

The name of JVIadame Obermann has been 
more than once mentioned in these Memoirs. 
She was one of the persons whom the King of 
Prussia, on his return to his capital after three 
years' absence, particularly took care to recom- 
pense. The zeal and activity of this woman, 
in the cause of her lawful sovereign, are worthy 
of the most honourable mention, and tend to 
prove how much an humble individual, and 
that a female, is able to accomplish, when 
actuated by pure and ardent feelings. Heed- 
less of the risk she ran, Madame Obermann 
had always sums of money ready to be ad- 
vanced to those who were engaged, openly 
or secretly, in the service of the King. Her 


hotel resembled the head-quarters of an army, 
or an established place of conference, rather 
than a tavern ; and it was through means 
provided by this spirited woman that expresses 
were carried from his well-wishers at Berlin 
to Frederick-William, whether at Konigsberg 
or at Memel. So much address and cu'cum- 
spection characterised her proceedings, that, 
during the whole three years, no individual 
employed by her was compromised, nor any 
discovery made even by the watchfid secret 
police established by the French authorities. 
Frederick-\Villiam, as has been stated, was 
fully sensible of this bold and patriotic con- 
duct on the part of Madame Obermann,' and 
not only repaid her whatever she had advanced 
on account of his service, but bestowed upon 
her the beautiful domain of Lintz, near Bres- 
lau, in Silesia, of the value of near fourteen 
thousand pounds sterling. The Author wishes 
he could add, for the credit of Frederick- Wil- 
liam, that similar acknowledgements had been 
made to all those who were distinguished for 
undeviating zeal and fidehty in his JMajesty's 
service :— in saying thus much, unfortunately 
for himself, he speaks feelingly. He is not 
desirous to vaunt of services undertaken in the 
honourable spirit of loyalty, stiU, it is but 


justice to observe that, thanks to the shameful 
conduct of certain infamous emploijes of the 
Prussian police, he has been altogether unre- 
compensed, and worse than unrecompensed, by 
the Prussian government. 

The refusal of the late Queen Charlotte of 
England to receive her daughter-in-law, the 
spouse of the Duke of Cumberland, is univer- 
sally known. This princess had previously 
drawn on herself the dis-esteem of the King 
of Prussia, whose brother Louis had been her 
first husband. She was sister to the Queen of 
Prussia, by whom she appears to have been 
very tenderly beloved. After the decease of 
Prince Louis, the Princess Frederica, at a 
period considered somewhat early, contracted 
marriage with a member of the house of Solms, 
at that time captain of a company of Dutch 
guards, and a remarkably handsome man. 
This hasty union, from some secret cause, was 
urged on by the Queen herself. On the cir- 
cumstances of the case coming to the know- 
ledge of Frederick- William, he was so indig- 
nant that he would not consent to see the 
princess, and still less her new husband : but, 
in the course of time, the Queen found means 
so far to mollify his Majesty's resentment, as 
io procure from him a residence for her sister. 


together with an increase of the pension en- 
joyed by her as widow of one of the royal 
princes. By this second union, the princess 
had five or six children, which, as well as 
their mother, are said to have been recom- 
mended by his wife, upon her death-bed, to 
the protection of the Prussian monarch. 

After the decease of the Prince of Sohns, 
the Princess Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 
entered, for the third time, into " the holy 
bands of matrimony" with his Royal High- 
ness the Duke of Cumberland — a union which 
is well known to have been offensive in the 
highest degree to that illustrious personage 
who was at once mother to the gentleman 
and aunt to the lady. The motives of this 
strongly grounded antipathy have already 
been alluded to, and require no farther men- 
tion or comment. 



Farther anecdotes relative to the Grand-duke Constantine. — 
The famous Russian General Souwarrow. — His peculiari- 
ties on the field |of battle. — His treatment of a Secretary 
of Legation. — Scene on parade between him and the Em- 
peror Paul. — The Emperor Napoleon and Count Mankow. 
An evening party at St. Petersburgh. — Prince Lapuchin. — 
Klopstock the poet. — His eulogiums of the Emperor Alex- 
ander. — His disinterested spirit. — ^Feodora, the fair exile 
of Siberia. — Her journey to St. Petersburgh. — Alexander's 
generous behaviour. 

The real character of the Grand- duke Con- 
stantine of Russia is not generally understood. 
He has been denominated cruel, vicious, and 
half-civilized — a man regardless at once of his 
self-respect and the esteem of others. This is 
not the fact. The Grand-duke is not without 
his failings : his nature is impetuous ; and the 
kind of education given to the son of a north- 
ern despot is not calculated to remedy the de- 
fect. But he has proved himself capable of the 
kindest and most tender-hearted, and sometimes 


of the most noble actions. The unhappy sel- 
dom appealed to him in vain : his own means, 
and his intercession with his Imperial brother, 
were always ready to be employed on behalf of 
such as advanced the double claims of merit 
and misfortune. 

The following circumstance will serve as an 
instance of the zeal and pains wherewith this 
prince sought out all those whom he consider- 
ed likely to contribute to the amelioration of 
the Russian cavalry, at the head of w^hich he 
had been placed by his brother. 

On the morning of a certain grand review of 
this branch of the service, the Grand-duke, who 
had for some time previous honoured the Au- 
thor with his regard, requested him to attend, 
in order to view the progress w^hich the Rus- 
sian cavalry were making in their general tac- 
tics. The Author accordingly went upon the 
ground, accompanied by one of his friends, the 
Baron de Hamerstein, an able officer in the 
Hanoverian cavalry, and son of the eminent 
general of that name. At the commencement 
of a rapid evolution, the Author found himself 
at some little distance from his friend, whom he 
therefore called in a tone of voice sufficiently 
loud to attract the observation of the Grand- 
duke, who was galloping by. His Imperial 


Highness quickly returned, and demanded with 
the utmost eagerness : '* Whom are you call- 
ing? — Hamerstein? Who is this Hamerstein, 
and where is he ?" On being informed, he re- 
quested the author to wait on him at the palace 
next morning. On presenting himself, his Im- 
perial Highness made inquiries touching the way 
in which the Baron de Hamerstein was situated 
at the time. " I entreat you," said he to the 
author, " to engage your friend, if possible, to 
take a commission in my cavalry. They are of 
a good stock, these Hamersteins ; and to have 
one of them attached to my service will be 
most advantageous. Go, and do your best." In 
effect, the Baron waited upon Constantine, and 
received from his Imperial Highness the com- 
mission of Major in a regiment of Dragoons. 

Whenever, indeed, the author, or any other 
individual enjoying the Grand-duke's confi- 
dence, paid a visit to either part of Germany, 
his Highness requested them to seek out for 
him good cavalry officers ; and on the arrival 
of any such at St. Petersburgh, Constantine 
was never backward in making good those pro- 
mises by holding out which he had induced 
the officers to go thither. 

A great deal has been said about the al- 
leged rough treatment by Constantine of his 

VOL. I. 2 a 


first wife, a Princess of Saxe Coburg : but 
those who were in the habit of seeing this 
imperial couple in their domestic hours, can 
bear witness that the misunderstanding which 
existed between them, and embittered their 
comfort previous to her Highness's return to 
her native country, was at least as much 
owing to the imprudent levity of the lady as 
to the abrupt manners of the gentleman. 

Among the Russian generals of the last and 
present age, few have attracted more notice 
than Souwarrow. The eccentricities of this 
man were very great. His first celebrity was 
acquired at the siege of Ismail, before which 
fortress he had been left by the commander-in- 
chief, Prince Potemkin, with express orders to 
undertake nothing until the Prince's return. 
Disliking inaction, however, and aware of the 
importance attached by Catherine to the cap- 
ture of this fortress, Souwarrow, as soon as 
Potemkin's back was turned, attempted its re- 
duction, and in succeeding, laid the foundation 
of his future fortunes although Potemkin ex- 
exerted his well-known influence with the Em- 
press to impede him. Had Souwarrow been 
unfortunate in his daring enterprise, he would 
no doubt have been held inexcusable for dis- 
obeying the commands of his superior — but suc- 
cess sanctions every thing. 


It must have been curious to see this man, in 
the midst of an engagement seated, as was his 
wont, on some little neighbouring eminence, — 
with a small Turkish sabre in his hand, and 
crying out, " Koli ! Koli !" — a Russian word 
signifying " kill ! kill !'' which injunction he 
would repeat whenever his aid-de-camp came 
to report movements or receive orders. 

When Souwarrow had surrounded and was 
bombarding Alexandria, in Italy, the Russian 
ambassador at Berlin sent him one of his secre- 
taries of legation with a duplicate of certain 
despatches received from St. Petersburgh, and 
which required an answer from the general. 
The secretary departed in all haste; and on 
arriving at the camp, was introduced to Sou- 
warrow, who, upon opening the despatch, was 
quite ennuy6 at its length. He treated the 
messenger with some incivility ; and when told 
that he was not a mere courier but secretary of 
legation to his Majesty the Emperor, — " Bah !" 
exclaimed Souwarrow, in evident anger : " I 
care not what the designation of these scribbling 
fellows is:" he then ordered two officers to take 
the secretary into the entrenchments. 

As it happened, on this day there was a very 
warm attack made upon the place : the se- 
cretary, quite unaccustomed to scenes of this 

2 A 2 


nature, remonstrated earnestly against being 
taken to any such position as the entrench- 
ments ; but his conductors told hhn that they 
had express orders from the Marshal to conduct 
him into the lines of circumvallation. " I wish 
you and your Marshal were at the devil toge- 
tlier," exclaimed the vmfortunate secretary ; 
" What have I to do with the lines of circum- 
vallation ?" All remonstrance, however, was 
unavailing : to the lines he was taken, and 
heard, to his manifest horror, a most terrible 
cannonading, whilst on all sides the soldiers 
fell even by dozens at a time. 

At length, the terrified young man found 
means to prevail on his conductors to relieve 
him from this distressing situation. He was 
led back to the camp, and taken into the Mar- 
shal's presence, where he protested against the 
violence wherewith he had been treated, and 
demanded a reply to his despatches. 

" I have something else to do," said Souwar- 
row, " than to write despatches like you gen- 
tlemen. The Minister of War sends me two 
secretaries within eight hours, to know what I 
am about ! Well, you have seen me ! You 
have likewise witnessed something of my pro- 
ceedings ; you will therefore be able to report 
accordingly to the Minister. Tell him that 


Marshal Souwarrow bombards and is bombard- 
ed in turn, and that in three days time he will 
be within the fortress." 

Among other pranks of the Emperor Paul, 
he once took it into his head, to adopt the 
Prussian military costume, and to put every 
thing in his own army on a similar establish- 
ment to that of his neighbour. His burlesque 
Majesty himself dressed a-la-mode de Frede- 
rick the Second, and general orders were issued 
prohibiting any officer from coming to parade 
habited in any other than the new fashion. 

Souwarrow was not of a disposition to sacri- 
fice his own humour to that of any body else. 
He came boldly to parade, in the old costume of 
a general of the days of Catherine the Great, 
namely, without queue, without powder, and 
with uncurled hair. (According to court-regu- 
lation, the queue was to be a foot and a half in 
length.) Paul, seeing on his arrival that Sou- 
warrow and his aids- de-camp had infringed the 
orders respecting costume, stamped and swore, 
and played a hundred of those sensible tricks 
for which he was so eminent : whilst the of- 
fending general, accustomed to see the Em- 
peror in his moments of anger, said, nothing 
daunted, " Sire, these are mere trifles : a queue 
is not a cannon, curls are not fusils, nor hair- 


powder, gun-powder : — I have beaten the 
Turks Avithout any such ornaments." The 
Emperor, however, thought the offence of a 
forbidden costume quite enough to outweigh 
the services of many campaigns, and sent Sou- 
warrow and his veteran aids-de-camp into Si- 

The stern unbending character of their cli- 
mate seems to have communicated itself to 
other Russians of distinction besides Souwar- 
row. The behaviour of Count Markow to 
Napoleon Bonaparte, at whose court he was 
ambassador, affords a striking example of 

In the year 1803, the Marquis d'Entraigues, 
a French emigrant, but counsellor of state in 
the Russian service, was sent on a mission 
from St. Petersburgh to Rome, where he was 
arrested and thrown into prison by order of 
Napoleon. As soon as the Emperor Alex- 
ander was made aware of this circumstance, 
lie sent an express to Count Markow to de- 
mand tlie liberation of EntraiQues. The Count 
made official re})rcsentations accordingly ; but 
these where wholly disregarded. One Sunday, 
when there was public audience given to the 
diplomatic body at the Tuileries, the First 
Consul, addressing himself to the Marquis de 


Lucchecini, ambassador from Prussia : — " What 
think you, Marquis," said he ; " Russia is 
striving even to protect the emigrants." — 
Count Markow, immediately interposing, ob- 
served, " Sir, if his Majesty the Emperor of 
Russia, my august master, wills to extend pro- 
tection to any one, I am sure he has both right 
and reason." Upon this, Bonaparte, looking at 
Markow, with an air of extreme disdain, said, 
*' It was not to you. Count, I spoke." — " Sir," 
answered the Russian, " if any one speaks in 
my presence of my Sovereign, I always reply^' 
Having said this, he turned his back upon the 
First Consul, and left the audience. 

Bonaparte, extremely irritated, gave orders 
to his minister that Count Markow should be 
forthwith sent back to Russia ; but the latter, 
on this command being signified to him, at 
once refused, saying that he would not stir 
from Paris until his master recalled him. Both 
he and the First Consul despatched respec- 
tively messengers to St. Petersburgh with de- 
tails of this affair ; Bonaparte requiring the 
recal of the ambassador : whereupon Alex- 
ander sent M. Oubriel to replace him ; but, as 
a mark of his Majesty's satisfaction at the spi- 
rited conduct of Markow, he transmitted to 
the Count, by the hands of his successor, the 


insignia of a Russian order, (enriched with 
diamonds) and an vikase conferring on him a 
pension of fifty thousand rubles. Oubriel was 
instructed to demand anew the release of the 
Marquis d'Entraigues, which was ultimately 
conceded by Bonaparte. 

When, subsequently. Count Markow met 
the Grand-duke Constantino at a party at St. 
Petersburgh, that Prince said to him, " Upon 
my honour. Count, you must possess great 
courage to speak in such terms to Bonaparte. 
They say that man jokes not : what w^ould 
you have done, had he by any chance laid 
hands upon you ?" — " 1 would have chastised 
him on the spot," replied the courageous Mar- 

The same evening on which this question 
and answer took place. Prince Lapuchin, who 
had been some days previously created Minister 
of Justice, leaving the assembly took by ac- 
cident anotlier man's hat instead of his own, 
which was almost worn out, whilst the one he 
lighted upon Vv^as quite new. The proprietor 
of the new beaver, not relishing the exchange, 
wliicli he got a glimpse of as the Prince 
passed to go down stairs, followed, and came 
up with him whilst stopping to speak to 
the Gnind-duke. Upon making his business 


known, Lapuchin offered excuses, and return- 
ed the hat, whilst Constantine cried out, laugh- 
ing, " Upon my word, a pretty Minister of 
Justice my brother has selected ; he enters on 
his office by committing a theft !" " Not a 
theft, my Prince," replied Lapuchin, *' but 
merely a mistake /" '* Oh, you legal gentle- 
men," exclaimed Constantine, " always like to 
elude plain terms. If my friend here had not 
caught it in your hand, you would doubtless 
have argued him out of the fact of possessing 
his hat at all." 

The late Emperor Alexander was very fond 
of the writings and character of Klopstock, 
author of " The Messiah." He deputed some of 
his most eminent subjects, at the time when 
they were travelling through foreign countries, 
for the purpose of noticing whatever was excel- 
lent and worthy of admiration in their several 
Institutions, to call upon the poet, and bear him 
personally the Emperor of Russia's regards. 
Klopstock, old and infirm, declined for some 
time receiving these individuals, but was at 
length prevailed on to consent. The conversa- 
tion soon grew spirited, running generally on 
literary subjects, until some one, turning it 
upon Klopstock's great work, told him that it 
had been translated into the Russian language. 

362 anp:cdotes of foreign courts. 

" AVhat !" exclaimed the poet, with a transient 
expression of dissatisfaction, "who can have 
rendered my poem into that barbarous tongue V* 
His informant smiled, and overlooking the bad 
compliment, replied, " If my countrymen relish 
so highly a translation of this book, what 
would be their pleasure, could they understand 
the original ?" " Very well said. Sir," remark- 
ed Klopstock, apparently conscious of his pre- 
vious want of courtesy. On the Russian gen- 
tlemen quitting his apartment, he said, " After 
my death, among my papers will be found cer- 
tain INISS. wherein my opinion and prediction 
concerning your Sovereign will distinctly ap- 

Klopstock on several occasions eulogised the 
Emperor Alexander : and it is but fair to count 
him honest in doing so, since, strange to say, 
he refused sundry presents offered him on the 
part of the Russian monarch ; and this, not- 
withstanding he was old and poor. 

The accession of Alexander to the throne 
was hailed with the greatest marks of satisfac- 
tion by all classes, as a signal of hope and de- 
liverance. Every heart in the wide Russian 
dominions might, without much colouring, be 
said to bound with joy ; and even the unfortu- 
nate exiles dwelling in the remote tracts of Si- 


beria, participated in the sentiment. It was at 
this period a fact occurred, which has been 
since woven both into di'ama and romance. 

The Emperor Paul, during his reign, had 
sent Colonel Feodor, for some trivial offence, 
to Kamschatka, the most forlorn of all the Si- 
berian settlements and at a distance of 13,200 
versts from St, Petersburgh ; and the whole 
family of this unfortunate man accompanied 
him into exile. When the news reached them 
of the death of Paul, and the succession of 
Alexander, whose character was already high, 
a ray of consolation shot across the minds of 
these poor people, and lightened more parti- 
cularly that of the amiable Feodora, the Co- 
lonel's eldest daughter. This young girl im- 
mediately set about making active preparations 
for undertaking a journey to St. Petersburgh, 
in order to throw herself at the feet of the Em- 
peror, and implore his JNlajesty's grace for her 
ill-starred parents. 

This scheme she entered upon in secrecy, 
and actually accomplished ; arriving, after a 
painful and hazardous journey, which occu- 
pied an entire year, in the environs of the 
capital. Here the want of a passport for 
a while impeded Feodora's progress ; but ac- 
cident favoured this excellent young woman. 


and brought the Emperor himself into the 
neighbourhood. With great difficulty, and by 
the benevolent assistance of an officer, she suc- 
ceeded in penetrating the crowd, and reached 
her Sovereign, falling at whose feet, in a voice 
choked by tears, she entreated favour and par- 
don for her father. 

Alexander, much affected by the wasted ap- 
pearance and strong emotion of his suppli- 
cant, raised her, and inquired into the particu- 
lars of her suit: upon learning which, and 
finding that she had made so tremendous a 
pilgrimage, he said, " And who, my poor girl, 
has been your conductor through this toilsome 
route ?" " God and filial love have supported 
me ;" answered the heroic daugher of Feodor ; 
who had soon afterwards the happiness of re- 
ceiving an order for her father's liberation, 
and was by Alexander himself presented to his 
Empress Mother. 




Rupture between the King of Prussia and Gustavus Adol- 
phus, the deposed King of Sweden. — Martial Despatches. — 
Order of the Black Eagle. — Interposition of the Emperor 
Alexander — Manoeuvres of his Envoy. — Amicable Ar- 
rangement. — Causes of Bonaparte's Indignation at Gusta- 
vus Adolphus. — Intrigues of his Agents at Stockholm. — 
Abdication of the King. — Personal description of the famous 
Count de Munck. — Interview and Treaty between him and 
his reputed Son, Gustavus. — Conference on the Tilsit Raft. 
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia. — Origin of Bona- 
parte's Choice of Maria Louisa. — Extracts from a Letter 
of that Princess to Count Edling. — Marshal Landon at the 
Siege of Belgrade. — Sketch of the Marshal's early life. 

The circumstances which led to the rupture 
between Frederick WilHam of Prussia and the 
unfortunate Gustavus Adolphus the Fourth, 
then King of Sweden, are not generally under- 

In the year 1804, the King of Prussia sent 
to Napoleon, newly constituted Emperor, the 
Order of the Black Eagle. No sooner had in- 


telligence of this circumstance reached Stock- 
holm, than his Swedish majesty wrote to Fre- 
derick William the following letter : — 

" Sire, — So long as the Order of the Black 
Eagle was an honourable decoration, destined 
as a mark of friendship between Sovereigns, 
and as a recompense to ministers distinguished 
by their fidelity, I regarded myself happy in 
bearing it ; but since your Majesty has thought 
proper to invest with the insignia of this 
order the greatest usurper and destroyer of 
modern times, it has no longer any value in 
my eyes, and I have ordered my charge d'affaires 
at Berlin to return it. 

'* I pray God, &c." 

This letter was despatched by Gustavus 
through one of his aids-de-camp, ]M. Peyron. 
On receiving it, the King of Prussia was so 
piqued at its contents, that, without the slight- 
est hesitation, he recalled his own ambassador 
from Stockholm, and sent away the Swedish 
plenipotentiary, residing at his court. Not 
satisfied with this, he instructed Marshal Kal- 
kreuth to march upon the frontiers of Swedish 
Pomerania, at the head of 30,000 men, and to 


demand, in this hostile way, whether or no the 
King of Sweden was desirous of breaking up 
the amicable relations between the two coun- 
tries. Nothing daunted, however, Gustavus 
Adolphus advanced likewise at the head of his 
troops, and met his adversary, " beard to 
beard," the two armies being divided solely by 
the little river Penn. 

While matters were in this frowning condi- 
tion, as if presageful of a deadly quarrel be- 
tween the monarchs, a third party appeared on 
the field, namely, the Emperor Alexander, who 
visited Berlin, in order to consolidate his al- 
liance with Frederick William. Being inform- 
ed of this rupture, and fearing that it would 
prove an obstacle to the coalition already pro- 
jected between Russia, Austria, Prussia, and 
Sweden, the rather as one of his corps-cr armde 
was already in march, and ought to disembark 
in the port of Stralsund ; whilst Gustavus 
Adolphus might, in consequence, withhold his 
quota of 30,000 men. Alexander, foreseeing 
these contingencies, did every thing in his power 
to effect a reconcihation between the two kings 

Frederick William became, after a while, 
somewhat mollified ; and yielding to the exi- 
gencies of the period, professed himself, how- 
ever deeply his feelings had been wounded, 


ready to renew his former ties witli Sweden, 
on the express condition that an apologetic let- 
ter should be written by Gustavus Adolphus ; 
and that this letter might not fail to hit his 
Prussian Majesty's taste, a model for it was 
drawn up by the minister Hardenberg, at Ber- 
lin, and despatched to Stockholm by an envoy 
appointed for the purpose. 

Gustavus continued firm. He professed 
himself no way disinclined to write to the King 
of Prussia, but it must be after his mm fashion : 
and when his minister, M. Wetterstadt, sug- 
gested a few phrases, the king imperatively 
cried : " Leave me alone ! I have no need of a 
schoolmaster : I know what I have to write, 
and will write it."* In effect, he produced an 
epistle of a nature widely different from " the 
model," and calculated to irritate rather than 
to conciliate. To make all sure, he put this 
into the hands of one of his aids-du-camp, who 
accompanied the envoy back. 

Arrived at Potsdam, as the letter was under 
a loose seal, the Envoy persuaded his com- 
panion that it might be as well to show it, in 
the first place, to the Emperor Alexander ; and 

* It is a pity that this firmness of character was not united 
to greater depth of understanding. 


that monarch, seeing from its tenor, that if 
duly delivered, it would only have the effect of 
making matters worse, put it very coolly in his 
pocket, and commanded his messenger to re- 
turn to Greissuald, at which place the Swedish 
sovereign was at the time, and bring back ano- 
ther letter. 

No sooner had these circumstances been 
made known to the choleric Swede, than he 
commenced by putting his aid-de-camp imme- 
diately under arrest, for having thus failed in 
the execution of his orders : but having by 
this time somewhat cooled upon the subject ji^ 
general, and begun to perceive the inconveni- 
ences consequent, particularly at that junc- 
ture, upon an open breach with Prussia, he 
yielded to the repeated solicitations of his con- 
fidential servants, and forwarded a communi- 
cation to Berlin ; which (although not exactly 
in the prescribed terms) it was thought alto- 
gether most prudent to acknowlege in a friend- 
ly way. 

The chief subject of these proceedings. Na- 
poleon Bonaparte, has not hitherto appeared 
upon the scene ; but he was, by no means, a 
man to hear of the conduct of Gustavus Adol- 
phus, and not to resent it. All the circum- 
stances of the affair were soon put in his pos- 

VOL. I. 2 b 



session, and he is thought to have decided at 
once on avenging the insult shown him, by the 
expulsion of Gustavus and his dynasty from 
the throne of Sweden. 

The suspicion of that prince's illegitimacy 
had been extensively entertained, ever since his 
birth. It was, however, checked from time to 
time ; and had his talents been greater, and his 
temper more conciliating, he might to this day 
have sat upon the throne of Sweden. But now, 
Bonaparte instructed his Ambassador at Stock- 
holm to revive the old rumours with all pos- 
sible activity, and to insinuate to the grandees 
and even the people in general, that it was 
scandalous in the eyes of all Europe for the 
ancient Swedish nation to suffer the domina- 
tion of a bastard. In effect, by intrigue and 
menace the Queen-mother was induced to 
give assent to the report, that Gustavus Adol- 
phus, her son, was not the offspring of her 
royal spouse, but of the Count de IMunck. 

This avowal produced all the result that Na- 
poleon was anxious for. Piqued and indig- 
nant thereat, the entire nation arose with one 
consent, and forced the King to abdicate. 
They, however, steadily refused at that period 
to adopt Napoleon's suggestion of nominating 
JNIarshal Bernadotte as Crown Prince : but, on 


the premature decease of the Prince of Hol- 
stein Augiistenburg, these recommendations 
were renewed witli eventual success. 

Previous to the events which deprived Gus- 
tavus Adolphus the Fourth of his crown, he 
had (perceiving that he should otherwise be 
constantly subject to raillery) made an arrange- 
ment with his reputed father, the Count de 
Munck, by virtue of which the Count con- 
sented to part with all his property in Sweden, 
and never again to enter that country ; whilst 
the King, on his part, agreed to pay De Munck 
a sufficient sum (6000 louis) to enable him to 
purchase an estate in Italy, and he accordingly 
bought the house and lands near Massacarrara, 
which had belonged to Maria Beatrix D'Este, 
widow of the Archduke Ferdinand. 

This treaty took place at Hamburg, which 
city was visited by Gustavus incognito, for the 
purpose, and where the Author was at the time 
residing at the same hotel with the Count, 
whose excellent conduct and gentlemanly man- 
ners had rendered him an universal favourite. 
Its conditions were strictly fulfilled on both 
sides : and so well did Gustavus express him- 
self pleased with the discreet and delicate de- 
portment of De Munck on the occasion, that 
he presented him, among other splendid trin- 

3 B 2 


kets) with a portrait of himself, richly set in 
diamonds, which the Count ever after wore 
withinside his vest. 

As the Author was intimately acquainted 
with the Count De Munck, and also knew the 
person of Gustavus well, he can speak to the 
fact of there having been a striking resem- 
blance between them. Thus much may with 
safety be asserted, whatever becomes of the 
broader part of the question. 

When, in the year 1807, after the battle of 
Friedland, an interview was arranged between 
Napoleon, Alexander, and Frederick- William, 
to take place upon a raft in the midst of the 
river Tilsit, in order to preserve the requisite 
etiquette, it was arranged, among other things, 
that at a given signal the sovereigns should 
embark in their sloops from the respective 
banks, in order that they might reach the float 
critically at the same time, and neither be kept 
at all waiting for the other. 

Whether by accident or design, however, it 
so fell out that Napoleon, with his suite, was 
first in arriving at the raft; the other two 
monarchs being a few moments behind-hand. 
Neverthek^ss, Napoleon advanced to meet Alex- 
ander, to wliom he paid tlie customary compli- 


ments ; but a little reserve being visible in his 
address, the Russian Emperor, with great 
heartiness of manner, cried, " Pardon, Sire, if 
I arrive a little late : I assure your Majesty, that 
I am not the less delighted to salute you." 

Alexander then presented his friend, the 
King of Prussia ; but Napoleon, observing 
witli surprise, that Frederick- William received 
his compliments with marked coolness, was so 
annoyed thereat, that he turned to his Mar- 
shals, who stood behind him, and said, " Do 
you see how he treats me ?" 

During the period that the sovereigns were 
sojourning in the little town of Tilsit, where 
they were employed in arranging various mat- 
ters of the highest importance — more espe- 
cially to the King of Prussia, — the French 
Emperor several times expressed a strong de- 
sire to see her Majesty the Queen, who was 
then with her children at Memei. This lady's 
repugnance to Napoleon was, however, so great, 
that they were obliged to put him off, from 
day to day, with feigned excuses for the delay 
of her arrival; until his natural impetuosity, 
no longer to be restrained, led him to say to 
the Emperor Alexander, " Eh hietiy Sire ! it 
would seem that, in order to be indulged with 


an introduction to this beautiful Queen, I 
should send Marshal Davonst with his corps 
d'armee to fetch her." * 

Alexander saw that there was no more room 
for trifling ; and it was concerted between him 
and Frederick that a chamberlain should be 
forthwith despatched to Memel, to represent 
to her Majesty the absolute necessity for her 
appearance. Upon the receipt of this intelli- 
gence, she reluctantly fixed an hour upon which 
to commence the journey, and was met at a 
certain point of the road by the three so- 

Napoleon was captivated at sight of this 
lovely woman, and took an opportunity just 
after of observing to IMarshal Duroc, " You 
have told me true, Duroc; she is indeed a 
beautiful creature." Next day, he gave a din- 
ner to her Majesty of the most sumptuous 
description. On bringing in the dessert, an 
open letter appeared on a salver, which was 
placed before the Queen of Prussia, addressed 
to her Majesty. " A letter for me !" exclaimed 
the Queen, on perceiving it, in great surprise. 
" Yes, Madame," replied Bonaparte ; " be 
pleased to look at it.' Her Majesty took it 
up, and found enclosed another, addressed to 
Jerome Bonaparte, then commanding the French 


forces in Prussian Silesia. This epistle con- 
tained an autograph order from Napoleon, di- 
recting the King of Westphalia to deliver up 
immediately to the nearest Prussian chief, that 
part of Silesia which had been reserved by the 
French Emperor in the secret treaty of Tilsit ; 
which territory was to be placed under the sole 
controul of the Queen of Prussia. 

Her Majesty, deeply affected by this delicate 
and noble behaviour, exclaimed, " Certainly, 
never did monarch bestow a gift with so much 
dignity and grace. I pray your Majesty to 
accept my best thanks." — " Nay, Madame," re- 
joined Napoleon, " is it not just that I should 
indemnify you for the expenses of a journey 
from IMemel to Tilsit ?" 

When the Emperor of the French, in 1809, 
visited Vienna as a conqueror, he took up his 
residence in the beautiful castle of Schoen- 
brunn, in the environs of the capital. One 
morning, accompanied by Meyer, one of the 
castle inspectors, he Avent over the apartments 
of this magnificent edifice, which had been 
hastily quitted, some weeks before, by the Im- 
perial family. In one apartment hung the 
portraits of the Emperor Francis's daughters, 
Maria-Louisa, Leopoldina, and Clementina. 
Napoleon, after a short pause, pointing to that 


of Maria-Louisa, wliich he considered with the 
deepest attention, asked of the inspector, if her 
Imperial Highness was really so handsome as 
there represented. The old man replied, *' Oh 
yes, your Majesty, she is indeed : and, what 
is more, as amiable as handsome." — " Well," 
rejoined Napoleon, " let the picture be placed 
in my cabinet, immediately fronting the writ- 
ing-table." He subsequently took it with him 
to Paris, and it was found in the Emperor's 
closet by the Archduchess Maria-Louisa, on 
her marriage. 

The Emperor Francis, at the time he con- 
cluded upon consenting to this match, was not 
ignorant of the animosity entertained by his 
daughter and wife towards his intended son-in- 
law. He consequently had not courage to 
open the matter to Maria-Louisa herself ; and 
the first governess to the Archduchess, was 
commissioned to make it known to her. 

This lady, however, had no success whatever 
in her attempts to reconcile Maria-Louisa to 
her destiny, for the Archduchess had no 
sooner been told that her father had affianced 
her to Napoleon Bonaparte, than she fell upon 
the sofa, screaming, and crying out that she 
woidd never consent to marry such a monster ! 


Francis was now fain to make personal endea- 
vours to prevail on his daughter to comply 
with the proposed arrangement, and for that 
purpose announced his wish to have an inter- 
view with Maria Louisa at a given hour. 

He repaired to the Princess's apartment, at- 
tended by his two youngest daughters, and 
with the candour and tenderness characteristic 
of him, represented the necessity of such an 
alliance, as the only means left to save the 
Imperial Family and the whole Austrian do- 
minions from subjection. The windows of the 
room in which they were, looked out upon 
the ruined walls and demolished forts of 
Vienna; Maria Louisa took the Emperor by 
the hand, led him to the view of this desolate 
scene, and said — " Father, can you give the 
hand of your beloved child to the author of all 
this destruction ?" — " It is to prevent still 
greater horrors," answered Francis, deeply mov- 
ed, " that I require this sacrifice from you ;" 
and he urged his solicitations in so powerful 
and affecting a way, that his daughter at length 
exclaimed, " Tranquillize yourself, my dear 
father ; to procure you peace, I will do what- 
ever you ask of me."* 

* It is asserted by the Princess's governess;, who was pre- 
sent at this interesting interview, that the young Princess 


Maria-Louisa, liowever, subsequently found 
tliat her sacrifice turned out to be not quite so 
heroic; she seems, on the contrary, to have 
been greatly pleased Avith her new situation. 
A letter addressed by her, in the month of 
June, 1810, to the old Count Edlin, her late 
governor, and despatched to Vienna by one of 
the chamberlains of her father's covirt, (who 
Iiad accompanied her Imperial Highness to 
France,) was seen and copied (with the consent 
of the Count) by the Author. It gives an in- 
teresting statement of her feelings so soon after 
her marriage. The following are extracts : — 

" I confess to you, my dear Count, that 
from the first moment I met and saw the 
Emperor Napoleon, my august and most be- 
loved husband, he has shown me on every oc- 
casion the highest attention. Indeed, I should 
be unjust and ungrateful, were I insensible to 
all his care, regard, and truly noble behaviour 

Leopoldina, then about twelve years oldj saw her sister so 
much averse to the proposed, match, she said with extreme 
naivete, " Dear papa, since my good sister seems so greatly 
shocked at this union, I will go in her place, and be married 
to Napoleon. I have no dislike to the Emperor, and I dare 
say it will be the same thing to him." — " You are a little 
fool," replied Francis, tenderly smiling, " and know not 
what you say." 


to me. In one word, my dear Count, I am 
happier than you can conceive. 

" Believe not that this letter is written by 
any order or compulsion on the part of my au- 
gust spouse, who, although at this very moment 
by my side, will not look at it. No ! these 
sentiments are dictated by my own heart ; and 
the letter goes from my hands into those of 
Count Joseph,* by whom it will be handed 
to you." 

One of the most distinguishing traits in the 
character of Napoleon, was decision. This was 
a quality which, as he was conscious of possess- 
ing himself, he prized very highly in all the 
military men employed by him. The famous 
Marshal Loudon, in the service of Austria 
during the reign of the Emperor Joseph, would 
have been a great favourite of Bonaparte, had 
they lived at the same epoch. 

In 1789, when Loudon was commencing the 
siege of Belgrade, he wanted bridges to en- 
able him to pass the Danube. He therefore 
summoned two officers of great talent, and con- 
fided to them the service of getting two flying 
bridges constructed, at points designated by 

* Count Joseph Metternich, brother of the Prime Mi- 


the Marshal. The officers answered, that they 
would immediately set about making iwepara- 
tions, and that in three days, at farthest, the 
bridges would be complete. " In three days !" 
exclaimed tlie Marshal, " that won't serve my 
turn. I must have them finished this very 
night." " Impossible, your Excellency !" cried 
they ; " according to general rules, the con- 
struction would require nearly a week ; but by 
great exertion we may perhaps get them ready 
by the day after to-morrow." The JNIarshal 
reiterated his wishes, and stated that it was his 
design to cross the river by midnight ; but to no 
better effect ; the thing was represented to be 
altogether out of question. At length Loudon, 
suddenly assuming a great coolness of manner, 
addressed the two officers thus : — " Gentlemen, 
all I have to say is, that if these two bridges 
are not finished by twelve o'clock, I will hang 
you both within an hour afterwards." This 
announcement sufficed to alter both the tone 
and opinions of the other parties, and so briskly 
did they conduct matters, that, in effect, the 
INlarshal found himself able to get to the op- 
posite shore by the time he had mentioned. 
When, subsequently, these two officers sent a 
memorial to the Emperor, complaining of the 
arbitrary behaviour and threats of the Mar- 


shal, his Majesty told them in reply, that they 
had reason to congratulate themselves on finding 
means to execute the orders given them ; for 
that he knew Marshal Loudon well, and was 
confident that he would otherwise have kept 
his word. 

The history of Loudon's early life is suffici- 
ently curious. He was a native of Scotland, and 
entered, young, as a soldier of fortune into the 
service of the Elector of Bavaria, wherein he 
held the rank of captain. Having had the mis- 
fortune to kill his colonel in a duel, he was 
obliged to quit Bavaria very precipitately; he 
went to Berlin, and requested a commission from 
the King of Prussia, but Frederick the Great 
received him very cavalierly, and said to him, 
among other bad compliments : " You have 
more the air of a monk than of a soldier ; and 
besides, I have no fancy for English officers." 

Loudon now made way for Vienna, where 
he did his utmost to procure an appointment 
from the Minister of War; but unsuccessfully : 
until at length, wearied of making applications, 
he left the capital, and took a lodging in one of 
the faubourgs, at the house of a shoemaker named 
Pancrace, where he remained some time in a 
state of great destitution, and supported by his 
landlord out of mere charity. It happened, at 
this epoch, that Marshal Daun, Avho command- 


ed the Austrian army in Silesia against the 
King of Prussia, wrote to the Empress Maria- 
Theresa, and to the Prince de Lichtenstein, to 
obtain good officers, accustomed to a war of 
partisanship, having none such attached to his 
corps. On a conference following between the 
Empress and Prince, the latter bethought him 
of Loudon, who had been represented to him 
as skilful in his particular branch, but whom, 
he told the Empress it would now be difficult 
to find. — " Is he in the Austrian dominions, 
think you ?" inquired Maria-Theresa. — " There 
is no doubt of it," answered the Marshal. 
" Well then," rejoined her Majesty, " I think 
we may get at him. Give orders to post up a 
description of this same Loudon, and promise 
a thousand ducats to whosover will find out 
his abode.'' 

The Empress's commands were executed 
next morning, and before the day closed, bills 
to this effect were stuck up in almost every 
street of the metropolis. Pancrace, who had 
gone into the city to get work, observing so 
many of these bills, which attracted general 
notice, read one of them, and without going 
any farther, he returned to his house, and find- 
ing his lodger there, said, " You are a pretty 
fellow ! no doubt, some great criminal ; if I 


had known you before, yon should never have 
come mto my house." Loudon, who was con- 
scious of no other offence than owing his land- 
lord money, replied, " My dear Pancrace ! you 
know well that I can't pay you just now ; 1 
have not even a sous." — " Oh, it is not about 
the money I am speaking just now. All I 
want is for you to quit my house. There is a 
ducat for you. Begone ! If I were malignantly 
disposed, I might obtain a thousand ducats by 
denouncing you. But, no ! I will not stain my 
hands with your blood. Away ! j'^ou have no 
time to lose." 

Loudon, more astonished than ever, demanded 
of his host what he meant ; and when Pancrace 
related the fact of his being advertised for in 
the manner above-mentioned, penetrating the 
whole affair, he cried out, " My dear Pancrace, 
this is the best news for us in the world ! They 
want me for the military service ; go to the 
office of the Minister of War, and say that I 
am lodging with you, but am too badly 
clothed to appear myself. After a short inter- 
val, the Minister himself arrived at the shoe- 
maker's habitation, gave him the promised re- 
ward, and furnished Loudon with means to 
equip himself properly. He was then pre- 
sented to the Empress, who gave him the ap- 


pointment of colonel, and sent him to the army, 
where he distinguished himself so highly, as to 
become, at the end of four years, a field-mar- 
shal. He lived to beat, repeatedly, Frederick 
the Great, by whom his services had been re- 
fused ; and who frequently, when speaking of 
Loudon to his friends, lamented that he should 
have committed the .egregious blunder of turn- 
ing such an officer away. 




Character and memoir of Alviso Mocenigo. — Journey of the 
Authoress to the Tyrol. — The Archduchess IMarianna, and 
Marchesi, the castrate. — Chagrin of the latter at his cold 
reception at Inspnick. — Pacchierotti at a private concert of 
the Queen of France. — Observations on the style of that 
celebrated Soprano. — The Elector of Bavaria^ Charles 
Theodore. — Incidents met with by the Authoress at his 
Court. — The Count de Sahano. — Compliment paid by 
Haydn to the Authoress. — The late King and Queen of 
Bavaria. — Biographical Sketch of his Mijesty. — Presump- 
tuous conduct of IMadame Catalani, 

Previous to visiting Denmark, Sweden, and 
Russia, we spent some time at the different 
German courts, some of which, as we formerly 
hinted, although of the most insignificant pro- 
portions and revenue, affect all the pomp and 
ceremony of royalty. 

But before 1 proceed to give some account 
of my travels there, I will advert to my resi- 
dence at Venice, (from whence I started,) and 

VOL. I. 2 c 


lay before the reader a sketch of a Venetian 
family, called Mocenigo, well known in many 
of the courts of Europe on account of their 
immense wealth, distinguished rank, and the 
general odium attached to them, which pursued 
the whole race (and seldom unjustly) from 
father to son. 

The last legitimate scion of this stock (better 
known by his self-assumed designation of 
Alvisopoli) was nephew to the Chevalier Mo- 
cenigo, once Ambassador from Venice to the 
Court of Versailles, and recalled by the Repub- 
lic, in consequence of certain reports in which 
his character was very deeply involved. 

Alviso Mocenigo, the nephew, was by birth 
a patrician ; but by profession, patriot, demo- 
crat, municipalist, royalist, or imperialist, accord- 
ing as his interest swayed him, though already 
rich, and destitute of heirs. Nay, so far was 
he influenced by the spirit of avarice, and lust 
after gain, as to be induced, at various times, 
to become a dealer in common-articles of trade ; 
once, at Copenhagen, absolutely vending gloves, 
a quantity of which he brought with him into 
Germany, where I myself purchased several do- 
zens for his Excellency's servants. 

During this worthy's absence on some of 
liis commercial expeditions, he was, evidently 


(tlirougli that awkward practice of keeping 
dates) without any trouble on his part, Messed 
with an heir to his name and property. Alviso 
was not, on his return, however, so easily re- 
conciled to this kind of thing as General 

r) s is said to have been, who, coming back 

to England from the Continent, and finding a 
similar circumstance had taken place in his own 
family, merely observed, with an air of vexa- 
tion, that " his wife's company had drunk almost 
all his old wine !" Neither did the Venetian 
bear joking on the subject with the same phi- 
losophical complacency as was exhibited by 
Lord M , who v/as occasionally thus ad- 
dressed by Lord E , when riding in Hyde 

Park : " Good morning, my Lord ; how are 
your wife and my children ?" — Every man in 
his humour ! 

Mocenigo, as we have said, viewed matters 
differently. When the French took possession 
of Venice, after their second conquest of the 
Austrians, Alviso was nominated by Napoleon 
Governor of Novara, and at this period it was 
that the affair was cautiously disclosed to him. 
He, however, grew restive, and hesitated not 
in the most public manner to expose his wife, 
to brand her issue with the stain of illegitimacy, 
and, the better to quash all hopes of his re- 

2 c 2 


turning favour, previously to departing from 
Venice, made over his property by will, to 
the Mocenighetto's, a collateral branch of the 
family. His wife, meanwhile, went to Vienna, 
where she was denominated by an odd kind of 
anomaly, " Vhonmte crimineller 

On Bonaparte's departing for Egypt, and 
the Austrians becoming momentary masters of 
Italy, Mocenigo contrived to make up matters 
with his hetter half ; became reconciled to the 
increase of his family ; and, with the hope of 
intriguing at Vienna to get himself made Graf 
(Earl) of Puffendorf, took his dear Lucietta, 
and her chopping boy, to the Austrian capital, 
where the latter was placed to be educated. 
He soon found, however, that he had reckoned 
without his host ; and disappointed by his want 
of influence at the Imperial court, he, after 
the battle of Marengo, once more turned Bona- 
partist, in consequence of which revolution of 
sentiment^ his wife was named dame d'Jionneur 
to Josephine. 

Such Avas Alviso Mocenigo, whose name has 
been so much bruited about both in Germany 
and Italy. He died at Venice, as he had lived, 
respected by none ; and to the great joy of his 

From Venice we took our route through the 


Tyrol, and arrived at Inspruek, where resided 
Marianna, Archduchess of Austria, and of 
which town the Count de Bissinges was Go- 
vernor. There was nothing about either the 
person or character of the Archduchess to me- 
rit particular notice; she was distinguished, 
however, as being the only one of her illus- 
trious house who had not been driven from 
their dominions by the armies of Revolu- 
tionary France. At the period to which I am 
alluding, the Tyrol remained free from any in- 
terference on the part of Napoleon, by whom 
it was subsequently severed from Austria, and 
attached to the tenitories of Bavaria. This 
lady, therefore, passed her life in a state of ex- 
emption from all disturbance or vicissitude : in 
perfect tranquillity, indeed, except when her 
fancy was wrought on by some handsome 
young officer of the garrison, whom she might 
view from the window of her palace. 

Report states that Marianna was an indulgent 
lady, and no unworthy member of the fruitful 
house of Hapsburg. Joseph II., like the Great 
Frederick, was in the habit of regarding wo- 
men merely as conducive to the increase of po- 
pulation for purposes of carrying on his wars 
abroad and his agriculture at home ; and on 
this account, both he and his brother Leopold 



looked with an eye of pitiful consideration on 
the trespasses of kind couples, whose labours 
were calculated to produce this effect. The 
Empress JNIaria Theresa was, on the contrary, 
as became her sex, very severe regarding slips 
of this nature, particularly when they occurred 
among the higher classes of the nobility. Du- 
ring her reign, the convents were filled with 
nuns and novices, doomed by their parents or 
guardians to the monastic life, whether agree- 
able to their own feelings or otherwise; but 
no sooner had Joseph II. succeeded, upon her 
demise, than, finding so many poor creatures 
doomed to perpetual seclusion, he, with a feel- 
ing at once of humanity and wisdom, opened 
the gates of the convents to all who chose to 
quit them, both male and female. 

When I had the honour to be presented to 
her Imperial Highness the Archduchess Ma- 
rianna, she was certainly an extremely plain 
woman ; but I have been told by those who 
knew her at the time she was proposed in mar- 
riage to Louis XV., that she was the most beau- 
tiful of all the daughters of Maria Theresa. 
That proposal, by the by, excited in no slight 
degree the apprehension of her sister, Marie 
Antoinette, then Dauphine, lest she should 
herself be eclipsed by the splendour attendant 


on her sister becoming Queen of France, — the 
narrative of which circumstances I have given 
in another work, the Memoirs of the Princess 
de Lamballe. 

The Archduchess having heard a great deal 
respecting Marchesi, the celebrated singer, who 
was then engaged at the Italian Opera at Vienna, 
and anxious to see this unfortunate human noun 
adjective, more especially since she had heard of 
the great success he had met with among the 
Austrian ladies in general, and the widows 
and unmarried ones in particular, her Imperial 
Highness wrote to Vienna, requesting that, on 
Marchesi quitting that capital to return to 
Milan, he should be furnished with the neces- 
sary letters of introduction to her court. Mar- 
chesi was perhaps the most insolent of all that 
race which leaves no race behind it. In the 
present instance, he was filled with hopes of 
effecting a new conquest, and imagined that on 
his arrival at Inspruck, the very doors would 
fly off their hinges to admit him into the Im- 
perial palace. What was his surprise and cha- 
grin, then, on discovering that the Archduchess 
had left Inspruck in order to pay some visit, 
and that it was necessary he (Signor Marchesi) 
should wait her Imperial Highness's return ! 

By the by, it is really surprising how very 


self-sufficient and haughty this description of 
men are. They are in general the offspring of 
the most wretched and depraved of the human 
species, who absolutely sell them to some mu- 
sician, by whom they are duly qualified for this 
purpose, and disqualified for every other. They 
are purchased in the way of experiment : — if 
they prove to have fine voices, they are brought 
out at the Italian theatres ; if not, they are 
sent to Spain or Portugal, or hired to sing in 
the churches (women not being permitted to do 
so) or employed as instrumental performers. 
One should suppose that persons thus un- 
happily circumstanced, would in all probability 
be imassuming, thoughtful, and desirous, by a 
strictly amiable deportment, to conciliate the 
good-will and sympathy of those about them. 
15ut no such thing ! Supremely ignorant, and 
objects of the most humiliating sentiments of 
pity, they are pretending, vain, and coxcombical. 
They may truly be said to be deprived of their 
humanity, in more ways than one; for the 
same process which is found to make brute 
beasts more tractable, uniformly renders these 
additionally turbulent and savage. Pacchie- 
rotti was one of the most civilized of the whole 
class. He liad, by great good luck, an excel- 
lent natural capacity, to which he was careful 


to administer food, by courting the society of 
refined and intellectual men. When enffaged to 
sing upon the London boards,* Pacchierotti was 
accompanied by his friend Signor Ferdinand 
Bertoni, the celebrated composer. He travelled 
through France, and was provided with letters 
of recommendation to the ill-fated Marie An- 
toinette, who never having heard him, signified 
her royal pleasure, on his presentation, that he 
should take part in a private concert, previous- 
ly to his quitting the Continent for England. 

A performance was therefore arranged to 
take place at Versailles, under the management 
of the distinguished musician Sacchini, (the 
Queen's music-master,) and Viotti, the eminent 
violinist. Marie Antoinette, ever anxious to 
amuse the Parisians, invited all the young no- 
bility v/ho had never heard any of these soprani, 
including some who did not even know the 
meaning of the term. Pacchierotti was a man 
whose peculiarity of figure excited considerable 
notice. His stature exceeded six feet: his 
countenance was pale, his cheek-bones high and 
broad, his head of hair immense, and tied in a 

* To the honour and credit of the French character and 
government be it mentioned, that persons of this description 
are not permitted there to sing, either at the theatres, or at 
the public concerts^ but in the King's private chapel only. 


manner resembling a great club. Such an ap- 
parition, accoutred as it was on the present oc- 
casion in a full court dress, which descended 
nearly to his heels, and pendant from his awk- 
ward high shoulders, looked as if hung upon a 
wooden horse, could not fail to awaken the 
merriment of the whole brilliant assembly ; and 
when from this uncouth, mountainous figure 
issued the shrill womanish voice, the surprise 
and mirth of the company became quite exces- 
sive. It was almost unprecedented in those ele- 
gant saloons, amidst the well-known politeness 
and urbanity of the anc'ien regime of France, 
and was unrestrainable even by considerations 
of court etiquette. 

Pacchierotti was constitutionally timid ; so 
much so, indeed, that on singing in any new 
piece, it was difficult for him to raise his voice 
to the proper pitch : and he has been frequently 
known to sing throughout an entire opera a 
note too low; the orchestra accommodating 
itself to the performer, on account of being 
aware of the cause of this effect, or rather 
" of this defect." In the instance we are speak- 
ing of, he was exceedingly confused and some- 
what terrified by the laughter which his odd 
figure had occasioned : on perceiving which, 
her Majesty, the Queen, with her customary 


delicacy of feeling and benevolence of heart, 
graciously approached the performer and en- 
couraged him to proceed ; and by her giving 
the first example of such condescension, caused 
Pacchierotti to be loudly applauded, and in- 
duced the Princess de Lamballe, the Duchess 
d'Orleans, the Duke de Penthievre, who had 
been acquainted with the singer at the Court of 
Turin, and the Duchess de Polignac, to unite 
in bestowing warm commendations. 

The recitative ended, Pacchierotti com- 
menced the air ; and his expression and skill 
in singing it occasioned involuntary tears to 
flow from the eyes of his auditors. It was a pa- 
thetic song, and happened to touch some chord 
in the sensitive bosom of Madame de Lamballe, 
which vibrated to such a degree as to cause 
her Royal Highness suddenly to faint. " Ecco 
la fine !" exclaimed the Queen, on learning this 
accident, " il gran trionfo di Pacchierotti !" 

Pacchierotti, many years after, when I was 
on a visit to him at his house in Padua, while 
singing with me from the original score of one 
of Sarti's operas, which had been composed 
for him at Venice, related the above anecdote. 
He was one of the most defective singers I 
ever heard; having an organ by no means 
good, destitute of much compass, and without 


brilliance ; and he sang through the nose. Ex- 
pression was his strong point: the notes he 
uttered came evidently from his own heart, 
and went direct to those of his hearers, and in 
this particular and eminent quality, he was, 
perhaps — certainly by any singer of his day — 
unapproached. Another great excellence in 
Pacchierotti was, that his articulation was clear: 
this is so rarely the case with modern singers, 
that people now, as it were by common con- 
sent, neglect the words of a song from mere 
despair of ever making them out. Composers? 
too, are in the habit of writing according to 
their own peculiar taste and notions, without 
consulting the genius or capabihties of the per- 
sons who are to perform their compositions. 
Hence, we constantly find the most outrageous 
malapropriations, and the most disagreeable in- 
stances of incapability. Nor is there scarce one 
singer who has a style of his own ; and, what 
is worse still, the defects rather than the excel- 
lencies of the model, are adopted by the imi- 

To return to her Imperial Highness the 
Archduchess INIarianna, and Signor Marchesi. — 
On her return to Inspruck, the Signor con- 
cluded he should be forthwith summoned to 
the Princess's boudoir : instead thereof, how- 


ever, she sent out a gentleman in waiting, to 
order him (as was sometimes done in the case 
of the officers who garrisoned the citadel) to 
walk to and fro before the palace, as her Im- 
perial Highness was only curious to see the 
Signor, on his passage from Vienna. The 
haughty Austrian had doubtless heard some ru- 
mours of the presuming demeanour of the so- 
prano, who, on receiving this humiliating mes- 
sage, instead of presenting his beardless coun- 
tenance to the Archduchess, turned on his heel, 
and exhibited to her Imperial Highness that 
part which a court wit once displayed to Charles 
II. on receiving an injunction from his Majesty 
" never to let him see his face again." 

From Inspruck we proceeded to Munich ; 
and having been early in my youth attached 
to that court, and well known to the late Kinsr 
(when his Majesty was in the service of France), 
I and my friends were received by that esti- 
mable monarch with all the graceful and gra- 
cious politeness so characteristic of him. 

The late King of Bavaria was, in truth and 
de facto, the father of his people. Her Majesty 
the Queen, although many years had passed 
since I received letters of introduction to her 
two august sisters^ the Empress of Russia and 
Queen Frederica of Sweden, kindly condes- 


cended to interrogate me as to the result of my 
visits to those courts. No sovereigns, in fact, 
could possibly be more generous and conciliat- 
ing than were those of Bavaria, to all personally 
known to them. The then Crown Prince, now 
the worthy heir of his illustrious father's crown 
and virtues, was absent from Munich, and con- 
sequently I had not the honour to be presented 
to him, as I was to all the other members of 
his family, among whom were Prince Eugene 
Beauharnois (formerly Viceroy of Italy) and 
his amiable and beautiful consort, the Princess 

The present King of Bavaria is married 
to the daughter of the Prince of Saxe Hil- 
brockhausen. Her Majesty's mother was sister 
to the late much-lamented Queen of Prussia, 
and to her "Royal Highness the Duchess of 
Cumberland. The Prince of Mecklenburg, 
brother to the late Queen Charlotte, had four 
daughters, who were thus allianced : — one mar- 
ried the present King of Prussia; another 
Prince I^ouis, the King's brother, and subse- 
quently his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Cumberland ; the third, the Prince of Tour 
and Taxis ; and the fourth, the Prince above- 

Nothing occurred in the course of our jour- 


ney from Vienna to Munich at all worth de- 
tailing. Bad roads, bad inns, bad food, bad 
accommodations, bad beds, very bad horses, 
and still worse postilions, are all generally com- 
plained of, and justly, by the English traveller 
for the first time on the Continent. These de- 
ficiencies are, in fact, pretty readily accounted 
for. The word comfort, which is really multum 
in parvo, containing so much meaning in two 
small syllables, is not to be found in any other 
language but the English. Our countrymen 
would therefore do well, so far as lies in their 
power, to seek it when abroad within them- 

During my former residence at Munich, at 
the court of the late Elector, Charles Theodore, 
(the best-informed prince of his time,) there 
was an ugly old nobleman of eighty, the Count 
de Sahano, who took it into his head to fall 
desperately in love with the reader's humble ser- 
vant, at that period wife to one of the handsom- 
est men of his time, young, well-informed, and 
in disposition most amiable. I was myself scarce 
out of my teens, and therefore revelling in the 
enjoyment of that treasure which we none of 
us know how to prize thoroughly until it has 
slipped away from us— youth. In the frolic- 
some mood so characteristic of that happy era, 


I sought and found abundant amusement in 
quizzing and tormenting this ancient admirer, 
upon whom all sorts of girlish tricks and man- 
oeuvres were played off, under the patronage of 
the Elector, and with the consent of my hus- 
band. I made appointments, and sent people 
to watch whether my superannuated swain was 
punctual in keeping them; which circumstances, 
naturally enough, soon became the common 
theme of conversation at court. Count Sahano 
was of a most miserly and miserable tempera- 
ment ; and it was therefore a point with us, to 
resort to every imaginable artifice to cause him 
to part with some of his hoarded treasure. 
Among other pranks, I recollect once removing 
some parts out of the score of an oratorio, which I 
knew the Count, in his quality of master of the 
ceremonies, would have on the instant, (for there 
was to be a concert that same evening), and at 
his own proper cost, to get copied out again. 
The rage of the unfortunate director on this 
occasion was extreme, and amused his Serene 
Highness, who, with several familiar friends, 
were present at the rehearsal, infinitely. He 
bounced about here and there, half frantic, 
u})set all the instruments in the orchestra, and 
actually fell himself into the case of the dou- 
ble bass, which, as his figure was originally 


very small, and shrunken through age, held him 
quite conveniently ; whilst, in his clumsy en- 
deavours to get out, he became still more inex- 
tricably involved, on account of the case turn- 
ing over and over, until the assistance of some 
of the servants put an end at once to his tor- 
ments and our mirth, 

I may be forgiven, perhaps, if, in the fond 
recollection of scenes which distinguished my 
youth, I mention, that at this same concert I 
sang, by the particular request of the Elector, 
the celebrated scena written for Marchesi, from 
the opera of PieiTo, wherein I was twice en- 
cored, to the no small satisfaction of my vanity, 
and corresponding vexation of my lungs. In- 
deed, I had frequently compliments paid me on 
account of my musical powers ; but the great- 
est I ever experienced was one at Vienna, where 
the immortal Haydn was accompanying the 
Countess de Hartzfelt and myself in a duet. 
He at one time suspended his accompaniment 
during several passages, and upon our at length 
pausing, he said, addressing himself to me, 
" Pardon me, Madame, I have been thus far 
seduced to play the listener only to your rare 
powers : if you will have the goodness to re- 
commence, I will, with the greatest pleasure, 
accompany you." 

VOL. I. 2d 


As a proof of the high estimation in which 
I had the good fortune to be held by the Elec- 
tor, at that period when the excesses of Revo- 
lutionary France caused other European pow- 
ers to adopt such precautionary measures as 
they deemed necessary for the tranquillity 
of their several states, the Bavarian sovereign 
deemed it prudent to prohibit the public im- 
portation of all foreign inflammatory newspa- 
pers. Immediately on hearing this, 1 forbade 
mine : and the circumstance shortly after com- 
ing to his Serene Highness's knowledge, he 
was good enough to say, " I am aware of the 
sacrifice an English lady must make to the 
policy of the country she is honouring by a 
visit, in stopping her journals ; and I can only 
say, that Madame is at liberty at any time to 
go into my cabinet, where she will find them 
all." The same liberal-minded politeness was 
extended to me subsequently at Prussia, during 
the reign of the late King; and thus, from 
never talking of politics, and thus never abus- 
ing the confidence reposed in me, I was suffered 
to travel tliroughout Europe at a period of the 
greatest possible excitement, perfectly unmo- 

I recollect the late King of Bavaria telling 
mc an instance of the presumption of Madame 


Catalan!, when that once-celebrated singer was 
engaged to perform at the marriage of his 
Majesty's daughter with Prince Eugene Beau- 
harnois. Catalani had been so much in the 
habit of singing before sovereigns, that she at 
length began to fancy she might lift herself into 
their actual society ; and on the present occa- 
sion, entering the concert-room previous to the 
assembly of the court, she very unceremonious- 
ly seated herself in one of the loges set apart 
for such members as v/ere expected of the Im- 
perial and Hoyal families of France and Aus- 
tria. On the entrance of the King she was of 
course ejected, to her no small mortification, 
and the great amusement of the court. I took 
the liberty of observing to the King, after I 
had heard this anecdote, " I trust your Majesty 
will condescend to make some allowance for the 
vanity almost inseparable from a woman of dis- 
tinguished talents." "Assuredly," replied he, 
" for her vanity, but not for her presumptiotiy 

Few princes have experienced more, both of 
the smiles and frowns of fate, than this amiable 
monarch. In the commencement of his career, 
as a cadet of the illustrious house of Deux- 
Ponts, he served in the French army, in which 
station he was both beloved and respected, at once 
by his brother officers and by the unfortunate 

2 D 2 


Louis XVI. This employment he lost, toge- 
ther with his German patrimony, on the occur- 
rence of the French Revolution ; but his uncle, 
Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria (of whom 
I have been already speaking), dying without 
issue, he succeeded as legitimate heir. He 
was subsequently elevated, througli the influ- 
ence of Napoleon, to the kingly dignity, with 
a considerable augmentation of territory, and 
was father both of the late Vice-queen of Italy 
and of the present Empress of Austria. 



Marriage of Ferdinand IV., late King of Naples, with the 
Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria. — Sinister policy 
of the Austrian cabinet. — Ineffectual chagrin, and dismis- 
sal, of Tanucci. — His successor, the Marquis de Sambuca. 
—Introduction of Acton, the favourite of the Queen.— 
Breaking out of the French Eevolution. — Conduct pursued 
by Caroline — Singular condition of the Court of Naples at 
the period. — The Junta of State. — Its incarceration of 
several unoifending youths, and its abolition. — Another 
sanguinary tribunal established. — Vanni, its president, and 
his retributive fate. — General Mack, and his conduct when 
prisoner of war in France. — Assassination of a messenger 
despatched by the Queen to Nelson. — Retirement of the 
Court to Sicily. — Imputed orders of her Majesty. — Con- 
flagration of the Neapolitan fleet. 

Among all the extraordinary events which 
distinguished the march of the French Revo- 
lution, from its commencement to the second 
restoration of the Bourbons, none were more 
singular, various, and interesting than those 
which regarded the kingdom of Naples. The 
late King, who, in consequence of his father 


succeeding to the crown of Spain, ascended the 
tln*one in his minority, (which, however, was 
fixed to expire at the age of sixteen,) espoused, 
in his eighteenth year, Maria CaroHna of Aus- 
tria, daughter of the illustrious Empress Ma- 
ria Theresa, and sister of JMarie Antoinette of 

This union gave promise to the Neapolitan 
people that they should no longer see the 
Austrian Imperial Family pretending to the 
throne of Naples, or suffer from that power 
any interruption of the national tranquillity. 
But from the same moment terminated the 
influence, both public and private, of the court 
of Madrid ; for, mark the insinuating policy of 
Austria : — in the marriage contract between 
Ferdinand and Caroline, it was stipulated, that 
after the birth of their first son, the young 
Queen should have a seat in the council, 
should in fact constitute an integral part there- 
of, and have a voice and vote in its delibera- 
tions — rights which she did not fail fully to 
claim and exercise so soon as the appointed 
time arrived. It was then that Tanucci, the 
minister of the day, perceived the false step he 
had made in permitting the introduction of 
such a clause — remarkable in him, who had the 
reputation, under the former King, (Charles 


III.,) of being one of the wisest and most pru- 
dent statesmen in Europe. Experimentally 
discovering liis error, he was anxious to elude, 
as much as possible, its dangerous results ; but 
he had to deal with an individual resolved 
to press her advantage to the utmost. The 
Queen, equally penetrating and ambitious, soon 
saw through the intrigues of the minister, and 
exercised her influence over her husband, (which 
every day grew stronger,) to procure his dis- 
missal, wherein she speedily succeeded. The 
weakness of Ferdinand's character is pretty ge- 
nerally understood ; nor will it afford matter 
for much surprise, when the reader is informed 
that his brothers all partook, more or less, of 
this weakness ; the one immediately older than 
himself, having been regularly disqualified 
from succeeding to the crown of Naples, on ac- 
count of his natural imbecility. 

Tanucci displaced, a minister was sought to 
succeed him more compliant with the wishes 
and views of the ambitious Caroline ; and such 
an one was soon found in the ]\Iarquis de Sam- 
buca, who, coming after Tanucci, presented a 
true picture of mediocrity following excellence. 
From this moment, the credit and power of 
Caroline were firmly estabhshed, and she be- 
came in fact the real sovereign of Naples, her 


easy spouse caring for little more than the 
quiet enjoyment of his constitvitional indolence 
and trifling pursuits. At this period the ne- 
cessity of an efficient naval force was strongly 
impressed upon the active mind of the Queen, 
both for the purpose of protecting the com- 
merce of the kingdom, and defending its coasts 
against the audacity of the African corsairs. 
The chief point was, to meet with an able sea- 
man to direct the incipient efforts of the Nea- 
politans in this respect, and the private in- 
terests of the Queen dictated that such a per- 
son should not be sought either in Spain or 
France. The Chevalier Acton was at length 
pitched on. He had great reputation, and ap- 
pears in some degree to have deserved it. He 
had, it is true, been once for some time attach- 
ed to the French marine ; but had become dis- 
gusted with that service, withdrawn himself 
from it, and was at that time commander of 
the naval forces of Tuscany. He was proposed 
to the female ruler of the destinies of Naples, 
and accepted, as was proved by the sequel, in 
a double sense. 

Such were the two individuals, who had for 
a long series of years wielded all the resources 
of this beautiful kingdom. Whether their 
administration was, in the aggregate, good or 



evil, it is not our province to decide. We are 
not writing history, we are merely grouping 
together the most interesting circumstances and 
personages that have figured in our own time. 

Acton was at this period stiU young, with 
more ambition than genius, and with know- 
ledge limited almost to the concerns of his 
nautical employment. For this want, whether 
of capacity or information, he made up, how- 
ever, by great aptitude and a fascinating ad- 
dress. He perceived that his plan was to se- 
cond at all risks the views and wishes of the 
Queen, upon whose ascendancy his own alto- 
gether depended. 

Caroline, aspiring from her birth, had all the 
earnest spirit of her brother Joseph, but was 
destitute alike of his talent, philosophy, and 

On the breaking out of the French Revolu- 
tion, that political convulsion which agitated 
the whole of Europe, and menaced the con- 
tinuance of all kingly authority, Carohne was 
not backward in displaying her wonted ac- 
tivity. Being on a journey through Italy 
with her brother, the Emperor Leopold, she 
instigated; that prince against the infant re- 
public, and induced him to form a coalition 
with Sardinia, Spain, and Switzerland. This 


treaty, however, of which several writers have 
spoken, and which was concluded at Mantua, 
in concert with an individual sent thither by 
the emigrant French princes, was never put 
into execution. The famous treaty of Pilnitz 
took place several months afterward, between 
the same Leopold, and Frederick William, 
King of Prussia. 

In all the states of Italy revolutionary prin- 
ciples had, by the time this treaty was signed, 
obtained great precedence. The victories with 
which the arms of the Republic were crowned, 
obtained for it enthusiastic admu'ers ; and the 
measures adopted by the several governments 
to check this feeling were inconsistent, in 
many cases, either with justice or true policy. 
Thus, at Rome, in a commotion excited by 
a public sermon, and by the priests secretly 
fomented, an agent of the Republic was mas- 
sacred in his own house, and all the French 
residing in the town might have shared in the 
same fate, had not the fears of the dastardly 
assassins been excited by the sudden appear- 
ance on the coast of a small French squadron. 

The greater part of the French in Rome 
and the Papal States, finding their security 
thus problematical, fled for refuge to Naples, 
where, however, tliey had even less chance of 


escaping persecution. The victories of Napo- 
leon Bonaparte in the Italian peninsula caused, 
it is true, the effects of the hatred of the Nea- 
politan Court to be for awhile concealed ; but 
it was not, in its nature, the less deadly ; and 
though apprehension induced them to sign a 
separate treaty of peace with the Republic, 
they secretly longed to have an opportunity 
of wreaking upon the victims in thek power 
the full bitterness of their indignation and 

The spectacle presented by this Court at the 
period alluded to was extremely curious. It 
was the seat of irresolution and confusion. 
The Queen alone, constant in her projects of 
ambition, seemed personally steadfast and fear- 
less : she usurped the little remains of autho- 
rity possessed by her husband, and found in 
Acton a ready instrument for the execution of 
all her scliemes. Though not, like Catherine 
of Russia, the author of her husband's natural 
death, she rendered him, beyond doubt, poli- 
tically defunct. As for her subjec^^s, she had 
acquired the habit of regarding them in the 
mass, as no other than partisans of the all- 
feared and all-hated Republic, and as preg- 
nant with the spirit of revolution. Her fa- 
vourite surrounded himself with foreigners. 


whose sole merit consisted in their tractahility 
and abjectness towards him, which equalled his 
own towards the Queen. Places, pensions, and 
emoluments of every description, were lavished 
prodigally upon these ; whilst native talent 
and true worth were cast into the background 
or scornfully repressed. 

In this state of things, tortured with appre- 
hension, natural enough after the commission 
of so much injustice, the two persons who 
governed the kingdom thought it advisable 
to organise a political inquisitioUj to which 
they gave the appellation of Junta of State. 
One might readily foresee what would be the 
operation of this tribunal of blood, which com- 
menced by arresting and throwing into infec- 
tious dungeons a great number of young men 
of the most honest families. The feeling of 
indignation was general and deep, although at 
first not loudly expressed ; after a while, how- 
ever, a body of venerable magistrates waited 
on the King, and represented that the incar- 
ceration of a number of imprudent youths* 

• These youths, who had been educated in the public 
schools, had read political and philosophical works, and, in 
the enthusiasm natural to their time of life, hoped to see 
their country one day free and powerful : they had probably 
viewed with interest the great, and, in many respects, useful 

M. VANNI. 413 

was not calculated either to save or to tranquil- 
lize the state. Ferdinand, however, King only 
in name, was unable to afford the applicants any 
succour, and it was not until the popular voice 
grew tumultuous against this institution that 
it was suppressed. 

Nevertheless, the Court was determined not 
to forbear from dealing out its measures of 
coercion. Another tribunal was quickly set on 
foot, at the head of which was placed the infa- 
mous Vanni, whose name, together with that 
of his sub-colleague, Guidobaldi, have escaped 
from their natural obscurity only to be held up 
to the undying scorn and ignominy cast by all 
weU-constituted minds upon the originators or 
instruments of cruelty and oppression. 

This Vanni was never other than the tool 
and creature of Acton ; and as soon as the mi- 
nister discovered that his agency was more in- 
jurious than beneficial to the interests of the 
Court, he scrupled not to sacrifice him. Vanni 
was deprived of his office, and sent into exile. 
Thus deceived in his projects of aggrandize- 

changes that had taken place in the social condition of the 
French ; but it is not fair to infer that they ever entertained 
an idea of conspiring against the King, as was imputed to 
them, and of which there does not appear to have been the 
slightest proof. 


ment, he sank into a profound melancholy. 
At the time when the Court first removed itself 
into Sicily, on the approach of the French 
army, this man entreated permission to seek an 
asylum there also from the probable vengeance 
of the invaders. It was refused him. And on 
receiving this refusal, he determined to die. 
The following is a transcript of the letter writ- 
ten by him previously to striking the fatal 
blow: — "The ingratitude of a perfidious court; 
the approach of a triumphant enemy ; the de- 
nial to me of a place of refuge — all decide me 
to put an end to a life become insupportable. 
May no one be accused of my destruction ; and 
may my example render the other state-inqui- 
sitors more discreet" 

It is impossible to describe the exultation 
wherewith, on the renewal of hostilities with 
France, the Neapolitan Court regarded its 
army of 70,000 men, commanded by the illus- 
trious INIack. The Queen herself, dressed in 
the style of an amazon, assisted at the review 
of this fine armament several days before its 
departure. She sought both by voice and ges- 
ture to animate the soldiers, to inspire them 
with the same ardour whereby her own bosom 
was expanded. AVhen the troops marched 
away, acclamations and warlike sounds were 


universally spread around. Pomp and display 
delight the inhabitants of Naples ; and it was 
imagined that the handful of French then in 
Italy, (not exceeding 16,000 men) would soon 
be exterminated by this splendid array. How 
great, then, was the terror and consternation 
when, " a little month" afterwards, the inhabi- 
tants of the metropolis saw its feeble relics 
return to their city, destitute both of cannon 
and baggage. The King, who had followed it, 
was compelled to quit Rome with the utmost 
precipitancy ; while General Mack ran about 
from one place to another, issuing in the course 
of an hour twenty different orders, and utterly 
ignorant on what to determine. A few days 
previously he had affected all the airs of a con- 
queror and liberator, of one who was in a con- 
dition to defy every European state. In a mo- 
ment, as it were, he lost both his power and 
pride. No longer formidable to others, he ap- 
peared even to lose all confidence in himself.* 

* When Mack subsequently, in utter dismay, sought 
refuge in the French camp from the fury of the Lazzaroni, 
he presented his sword to General Championnet, who refused 
it. " Keep it. General," said he, laughing ; " my Govern- 
ment permits me not to receive presents of English manufac- 
tured It is said, that Championnet never considered Mack 
as a prisoner of war ; and that he even gave him a passport 


Intelligence of these disasters of the army 
preceded its return to the capital, whose po- 
pulation was, as I have said, filled with ap- 
prehension, wherein the Court abundantly par- 
took. A fatality seemed to hang over its mea- 
sures, and urge it to take all manner of false 
steps. A proclamation was published, wherein 
the people were invited to rise eii masse, in 
order to save their King and country : accord- 
ingly, they ran to arms, and demanded nothing 

and an escort, to enable him to proceed to Milan : but the 
French Directory had him arrested and conducted to Paris. 
He was afterwards liberated on parole ; breaking which, he 
departed for Germany, in the company of his favourite mis- 

Is it not inexplicable, almost incredible, that this same 
Mack, who, after his conduct as commander-in-chief of the 
Neapolitan army, should have entirely forfeited his reputa- 
tion as a general, and, after his flight from France, should 
have lost his character as a gentleman also, obtained in the 
sequel the highest offices in the armies of Germany ? In 
1804 he had the command of the Bavarian forces. At the 
approach of Napoleon, he retreated and shut himself up in 
Ulm, to which place the Emperor immediately laid siege. 
After suffering a blockade for two months. Mack accepted 
the most ignominious capitulation recorded in military an- 
nals. The whole of his army, excepting only himself and his 
personal staff, remained prisoners of war. 

Such was the leader whom the King of Naples opposed to 
Macdonald, to Championnet, and Kellermann! 


but to be led to battle. Ferdinand should have 
profited by this burst of enthusiasm : at the 
head of liis faithful subjects, a spirit might 
have expanded similar to that felt in France at 
the commencement of the invasion of its ter- 
ritory, in which case victory would have been 
equally certain. Instead of pursuing this course, 
however, he listened to the suggestions of timid 
and perhaps sinister counsellors ; and on the very 
heels of the proclamation above-mentioned, (as 
if afraid of the excitement himself had stimu- 
lated,) decided to pass over into Sicily. A pe- 
culiar circumstance hastened his departure. A 
courier, who had been despatched by the Court 
to Admiral Nelson, was stopped by the popu- 
lace on the mole, at the instant that he was 
about to embark to gain the English fleet. He 
was believed to be an agent of some treasonable 
practice against the royal family ; and, having 
been cruelly massacred, his body was dragged 
under the windows of the royal palace. In 
doing this, it seems to have been the intention 
of the blind mob to give their sovereign proofs 
of attachment and fidelity : — on the contrary, 
the occurrence filled him and his family with 
fear and horror. Ferdinand resolved, v/ithout 
loss of time, to withdrav/ himself from a people 
whom he conceived to have become quite bar- 

VOL. I. 2 E 


barous, and disposed to act over afresh at Naples 
the scenes which had disgraced the refined ca- 
pital of Paris. Upwards of twenty millions of 
ducats, in coin and ingots, together with the 
most precious moveables about the royal palaces, 
and the rarest monuments of antiquity, were 
speedily embarked, in order to be transported 
to Palermo. 

The following I heartily wish may not be 
true, for the honour of human nature in ge- 
neral, and of that sex, in particular, to which 
Maria Caroline belonged. I hope it is nothing 
more than a fable invented by calumny. It is, 
however, said, and has been bruited about with 
the utmost confidence, that this Queen, this 
woman, caused, on leaving Naples, orders to be 
given to her secret agents, by virtue of which 
the populace of that city, already in a state of 
high fermentation, were to be stimulated and 
goaded to the greatest excesses, and, in fact, 
incendiaries employed to fire, in different quar- 
ters, this town, which she detested, and regard- 
ed as nothing else than a hot-bed of revolution 
and treason. Let us not load her memory with 
such an ineffaceable stigma ! but (which ap- 
pears more probable) there is little reason to 
doubt that it was by lier orders," and those of 
her minister, fire was put to the s]ii])ping in the 


harbour, which their precipitate flight did not 
enable them to carry with them, and which 
they feared would otherwise fall into the hands 
• of their enemy. A few hom*s were sufficient to 
consume those wooden structures which it had 
been the work of years to build, and which 
were almost the only \iseful result of so many 
imposts unpitiably levied. Witnesses of the 
spectacle of this vast conflagration, an immense 
crowd, which covered the shore, stood dumb 
with consternation and horror. 

2 E 2 




Remarks on the emigration of the Court to Sicily. — The 
" Parthenopean Republic." — Roger de Damas and the 
Cardinal de Ruffo. — The cruelties of Mammone Gaetano, 
a Royalist chieftain. — Sketch of the belligerent Cardinal. 
— Atrocities perpetrated on the delivery of Naples into the 
hands of the Royalists. — Capitulation of Chateau Neuf. — 
The violation by Caroline and her creature Acton. — Ob- 
servations on the conduct of Lord Nelson. — Treachery of 
the Commander of the French troops. — Characteristic 
sketches of Queen Caroline, of Lady Hamilton, and of 
Acton. — The principal victims to the violation of the 

The Court of Naples has been almost uni- 
versally blamed for having removed themselves 
from their continental dominions, and songlit a 
*• city of refuge" in Palermo. Undoubtedly, as 
we have already observed, the King appears 
thereby to have lost a chance which the excite- 
ment and enthusiasm of his people at the mo- 
ment rendered a probable one. 15ut it is well 
to pause before we decide in this case. Cer- 



tainly, if the Royal Family deemed it wise to 
withdraw from the capital at all, they could 
not have done better than take shelter from 
the attacks of their enemies in an island defend- 
ed by English vessels, and wherein plans might 
be safely concerted to enable them, in due sea- 
son, conveniently to regain what they had lost. 
For this purpose, it was no doubt well ma- 
naged to excite, in the vast province of Calabria, 
an insurrection against the ephemeral govern- 
ment introduced by the French after the de- 
sertion of the King, and to which was given 
the odd designation of " the Parthenopean Re- 
public." The emigrant Roger de Damas was of 
gTcat service in organising in the provinces 
movements similar to those put in practice in 
La Vendue. But of all the partisans of the 
Royalist party in the kingdom of Naples, at 
this period, the most daring and extraordinary 
was the Cardinal RufFo, who, with the cross in 
one hand, and the sword in the other, marched 
at the head of certain troops of brigands, which 
he had found no difficulty in getting together, 
through holding out prospects of pillage, and 
promising gratis the advantages of absolution. 
The French armies were busy elsewhere ; and 
there was consequently little to impede success 
on the part of Damas and Ruffo in their strug- 


gle against a republic liastily formed, and not 
yet in an organised state ; nevertheless, we are 
forced upon the belief that the words " liberty, 
constitution, and popular government," had 
gained great power over the minds even of 
the most ignorant men, since th^ two royalist 
generals, in those places which did oppose 
them, encountered a desperate resistance. 

But the ravages which the Royalist bands 
made in those parts of the country which were 
slow in yielding them obedience cannot be 
recounted without horror. To give a general 
idea of their barbarity, I will lay before the 
reader some account of one of their chiefs, 
Mammone Gaetano. Originally a miller, he 
was become by his high deeds, that is to say, 
his crimes, general-in-chief of the insurgents 
of Sora. During the period of two months 
rhat he commanded a very small extent of 
country, he caused no less than three hundred 
and fifty men to be shot, and at least twice that 
luinibor were slaughtered by his satellites. I 
will not speak of the pillage, burnings, and 
violations, dictated or permitted by him in a 
spirit of demoniacal mirth, nor will I men- 
tion the incredible number of persons who were 
thrown into horrible dungeons. So great was 
this monster's thirst for blood, that he always 


drank, wlien it was within his power, that of 
the victims whom he had caused to suffer. 
Whenever he dined, he had generally upon his 
table a head newly severed from the body, 
and a skull served him for a goblet. It was to 
such an individual as this that Ferdinand IV. 
wrote from Sicily, addressing him, " My Ge- 
neral and mij Friend /" 

Cardinal RufFo, born in 1744, was already 
old, and even infirm, when he took the charge 
of this perilous enterprise. His zeal and cou- 
rage would demand the highest commendation, 
had he not soiled his victories by atrocities simi- 
lar to those we have mentioned. 

After the first return of Ferdinand to Naples, 
in 1801, he nominated Ruffo his minister at 
Rome. On the Pope's being carried off from 
that city to France, the Cardinal was summon- 
ed to Paris by Bonaparte, by whom he was re- 
ceived with distinction, and presented with the 
cross of an officer of the Legion of Honour. 
But shortly after, from some motive not well 
understood, he removed him from about the 
Court, and restricted him to a village in the 
vicinity of Paris. " This Cardinal," says the 
author of the Modern Biography, *' passed for 
a man of spirit and information, and as pos- 
sessing knowledge of a various character. He 


has written on subjects the most diversified. ; 
on the manoeuvres of troops, and the equip- 
ages of cavahy ; on fountains and canals ; and 
on the manners of various sorts of pigeons. He 
has the faults of a speculative man, but does 
not the less preserve the merited reputation of 
being the most able economist of Italy. All 
foreigners of distinction seek the Cardinal 
Ruffo ; and as for himself, he appears now to 
love the French with considerable fervour. 
He has recovered his possessions in the king- 
dom of Naples, where he passes the greatest part 
of his time in planting rare trees, and reduc- 
ing to practice his theoretical knowledge re- 
specting agriculture and domestic economy." 
Strange ! that a man who had revelled in such 
scenes of violence as those wherein Ruffo was 
engaged, should yet preserve a taste for the 
pure and simple gratification arising from the 
study of nature and the " planting of trees !" 

The French government, as we before hint- 
ed, had been compelled precipitately to recall 
its army of Naples, in order to reinforce there- 
with its grand army opposed to the forces 
then inundating the western parts of Europe, 
from the banks of the Wolga and of the Neva. 
RufFo had therefore a clear theatre for his 
ult€Tior ])roceediiigs ; and on the 13th of June, 


1799, a battle was fought in one of the fau- 
bourgs of Naples, between the patriots, as they 
were called, and the Royalist troops. The 
latter were successful, and penetrated into the 
city, where they were joined by a licentious 
horde of the populace, who only waited to see 
which party was likely to get the upper hand. 
The pencil of the historian would be requisite 
to paint, in any thing like due colours, the hor- 
rors which, at the instant we speak of, deluged 
that most unfortunate metropolis : it does not 
resemble the annals of a society of men, but 
of tigers with human faces. 

Whoever had been a patriot, or was even 
suspected of having been so by vindictive or 
interested persons, was immediately attacked, 
and a general massacre ensued. Neither sex, 
nor age, neither virtue nor genius, nor mis- 
fortune, was spared. In this huge city, there 
remained but two classes, executioners and vic- 
tims. The rich were immolated at the thres- 
hold of their palaces ; the poor, upon the steps 
of the churches. IMany were literally torn in 
pieces by a gang of cannibals, who devoured 
eagerly their quivering flesh ; whilst others, 
having been dragged through the streets, were 
thrown, either dead or dying, into heaps of 
faggots lighted in the most public places of 


the city. llufFo was witness of these gliastly 
atrocities ; but he either wished not, or dared 
not, to terminate them. 

The cries of the wounded and the dying 
reached the ears of that portion of the patriot 
band wliich liad sought shelter in the different 
forts of the metropolis. They no longer doubted 
the fate which was reserved for themselves; and 
preferring death with arms in their hands, to 
falling under the blows of the assassins of their 
comrades, resolved to defend their strong-holds 
to the last extremity. They sustained, with 
rare vigour, the several attacks of the Koyal- 
ists ; but at length, overpowered by numbers, 
and reduced to a state of extreme weakness 
and suffering, they surrendered to their van- 
quishers upon honourable terms of capitula- 

This capitulation was signed not only by 
lluffo and by INlicheroux, (one of the generals 
of the King,) but also by Commodore Ford, 
commander of the English fleet, by all the 
chiefs of the Allied troops, and by Colonel 
Mejean, commander of the French forces, in 
the name of his government, which had been 
styled " Protector of the Neapolitan Republic." 
lluffo, in fact, gave hostages for its execution. 
Policy and humanity combined to dictate the 


terms of this solemn treaty, whilst honour and 
the laws of nations alike forbade its violation. 
But, who could think it ? the daughter of Ma- 
ria Theresa— a woman, and a Queen — less hu- 
mane than warriors, and more inflexible than 
priests, announced her disapproval of an act set 
on foot to spare the blood of her subjects ! 

CaroUne was at Palermo with her spouse. 
Scarcely was the capitulation known there, be- 
fore this lady, still enjoying the most absolute 
influence over the heart of her husband, swore 
that none of its conditions should be observed. 
She declared that she would infinitely rather 
endure the loss of all her dominions, than stoop 
to capitulate with rebels. 

Lady Hamilton, spouse of the English mi- 
nister, and avowed mistress of Admiral Nelson, 
had not quitted Caroline on her retiring into 
Sicily, where they lived together on terms of 
great intimacy. The Queen prevailed on this 
woman to seek forthwith her illustrious ad- 
mirer, and use her ascendancy over him to in- 
duce him to withhold his sanction from the 
capitulation, wherein she succeeded. 

This warrior^ whom his valour and good for- 
tune had conspired to render the hero, and, as 
it were, the champion of his country, disgraced 
himself and his nation in this instance, by 


complying with the soUcitations of a woman 
, whom lie should have ceased to love as soon 
as she urged him to an act of dishonour. Not- 
withstanding her prayers and entreaties, he 
liesitated some time ; but the blandishments of 
his mistress ultimately prevailed over the inte- 
rests of humanity, the claims of justice, and the 
glory of an hitherto untarnished reputation. 

Nelson declared, that the treaty concluded, 
until it received his sanction, was utterly null ; 
and added that this sanction could not be 
granted ! — and yet, at the very time he made 
this declaration, he was in possession of the 
forts of Naples, by virtue alone of an article of 
this same treaty, the force of which he thus 

Nor was the English admiral the only of- 
fender on this occasion against truth and jus- 
tice. The commander of the French garrison, 
who, by virtue of his strong position, had it in 
his power to require the fulfilment of the sti- 
pulated terms, and to whom the hostages had 
been delivered by lluffo, remained a careless 
spectator of all the menaced violence of the 
government. In good truth, he made a secret 
treaty, wherein he engaged to surrender up 
all the patriots who had taken refuge near 
him ; and, in ])roof of his honest intentions to 


do SO, sent back the hostages alluded to. He 
did more than this : several of the unfortu- 
nate Neapolitan republicans had assumed the 
French uniform, and ranged themselves in the 
French ranks. The colonel, suspecting this, 
caused the troops to pass him in review, and 
made a strict scrutiny, by which he was ena- 
bled to discover these intruders, who were ac- 
cordingly delivered to the vengeance of the 
royalists ! 

Such were the parties principally concerned 
in the violations of this treaty, so great a blot 
upon the page of Neapolitan history. The 
great prime author thereof was undoubtedly 
Queen Caroline. This woman, of whom his- 
tory will find it difficult to trace a faithful 
portrait, exhibited in herself the most opposite 
qualities. Without being so beautiful as her 
sister, Marie Antoinette, she had much dignity 
of manner, and an exquisite arm, the motions of 
which were regulated with consummate grace : 
her regard was keen, but rather harsh ; her gait 
noble, although somewhat pompous ; she spoke 
much and readily, in several languages ; said 
witty things, and sometimes unreasonable ones. 
She was extremely fond of using her pen ; and 
the writer of these sketches has seen long memoirs 
of hers, written in easy French, and with scarcely 


any erasures, and which were understood to 
have been produced with uncommon facility 
and quickness. She was at once prudent and 
rash, mild and aiTOgant, a prude and a co- 
quette, a philosopher and a fanatic. She had 
tlie reputation, throughout her life, of enter- 
tainiiig principles the most dissolute, and of 
squariiig her actions to them ; yet her children 
were educated in the most rigorous and even 
puritanical manner. The writer has frequently 
seen her at the theatre divert the attention of 
her daughters from the stage, lest they should 
witness some scene of an amorous nature. Ge- 
nerous even to prodigality, she every week 
gave to deserving poor families the fruits of 
her economy ; but at the same time she would 
lavish benefits on persons altogether unworthy, 
upon her favourite minister and his spies, and 
upon the vilest public informers. She believed, 
without examination, all the reports which 
were made to her respecting the evil disposi- 
tion of the people, and no one could please her 
better than by proving to her that she was an 
object of general dislike. 

Her confidante, Lady Hamilton, was, whilst 
Miss Harte, quite odious to Caroline. Proba- 
bly, the extreme beauty of this young stranger 
had excited in her breast a feeling of jealousy ; 


but, be that as it may, she more than once ex- 
pressed herself in a tone of great discontent, 
that a man, honoured with an important mis- 
sion, an EngUsh minister, should live publicly 
with a prostitute taken from the very streets 
of London. Sir William Hamilton, in fact, 
received her into his house, led her triumph- 
antly to the theatres and other places of public 
assembly, even to the groves and thickets of 
Caserta. But this minister espoused his favou- 
rite, and then presented her at Court. From 
that moment, consistently with her characte- 
ristic inconsistency^ Caroline made the bride her 
friend; whilst Lady Hamilton, almost trans- 
ported beyond sense at finding herself thus 
admitted to intimacy with a queen, was careful 
to study her ruling traits, and inflamed, instead 
of seeking to soften, her implacable passions.* 

* The life of Lady Hamilton is too generally known to 
require us to dwell long upon it. It seems altogether a ro- 
mance. Neither the date nor place of her birth is accurately 
made out. She is generally believed to have been the 
daughter of an humble domestic, and was herself, up to the 
age of sixteen, a servant in London. She became, shortly 
after, lady's maid in a family, where she had opportunities of 
reading a great many novels, and where she occasionally fre- 
quented the theatres, and acquired the habit of representing 
with extraordinary exactitude, by her attitudes and gestures, 
the various passions of the soul. Disgraced by her mistress, 


This woman is generally held to have been 
the chief instigator of those cruelties which 
accompanied the first restoration of Ferdinand 
in 1799. Indeed, as she had been subjected to 
a great deal of hauteur and disdain, even after 
she had become the favourite of the Queen, 
from those who plumed themselves upon 

she fell into a state of abject poverty, and took to prome- 
nading the streets. In this situation, her beauty attracted 
the attention of a fellow, who associated with lier, and by 
whom she was offered as a model to artists. A celebrated 
painter (Romney) fell in love with her, and multiplied her 
individual likeness in his portraits, in every variety of form. 
Shortly after, she found means to attract the regards of Lord 
Grenville, nephew of Sir William Hamilton, by whom she 
had several children. In 1789, Lord Grenville, whose 
finances were then in a ruined state, sent his innamorata (most 
likely in order to get rid of her) to Naples, to solicit succour 
from his uncle, who was ambassador at that Court. Sir 
William Hamilton, infatuated with her charms, kept her 
near himself, completed her education, and at length, in the 
year 1791, made her his wife. JMiss Harte must have been, 
at that period, twenty-six years of age, and her husband 

The Queen of Naples, as Ave have already observed, soon 
as the beautiful mistress of Plamilton was made an " honest 
woman," received her at the assemblies of the Court, whereof 
she constituted the principal ornament. She was admitted 
into tlie Queen's private parties and 'pctlts soupers with 
Acton, and often slept in the chamber of Caroline, It was 
at Naples that Lady Hamilton lirst saw Nelson. 


strictness of character, it is not matter of 
much surprise that a heart so depraved as hers, 
should seek, when gifted with power, to wreak 
its vengeance. To her is likewise commonly- 
attributed the atrocities perpetrated on Carac- 
ciolo, together with the torments of other vic- 
tims of high rank. 

The minister Acton, who, like Lady Hamil- 
ton, occupied a place which he merited not 
either by his education or worth in any way, 
used his influence, like her, in fanning in- 
stead ]'of allaying the exacerbation of feeling 
common to his royal mistress. Nothing grand 
or virtuous appears to have occupied this man's 
thoughts ; and he was both hated and despised 
by the nation he had so long governed. 

Acton was born at Besan^on, in the year 
1757, and was son of an Irish physician who 
had established himself in that town. He was 
employed by the Grand-duke of Tuscany in an 
expedition against the Algerines ; and to this 
circumstance his subsequent good fortune may 
fairly be attributed. The Neapolitan govern- 
ment sought him out: the Queen patronised, 
and without doubt loved him ; and from that 
time his power knew no bounds. 

Having bestowed a glance upon the authors 
of this shameless violation of a solemn treaty, 

VOL. I. 2 F 


we now proceed to say a word or two respect- 
ing their most distinguished victims. These 
were ahnost all eminent either for talents or 
virtue ; they perished by the hands of the exe- 
cutioner, upon a lofty gallows elevated near 
the sea-shore. The English vessels were within 
sight; and from on board one of them the 
cruel Lady Hamilton contemplated with com- 
placency the massacre of a whole crowd of me- 
ritorious men, most of whom she had known ; 
for many of whom she had professed friend- 
ship ; and amongst whom there were several 
who had celebrated her charms in verse, and 
had perhaps at the same time complimented 
her for sweetness of disposition and humanity. 
Poets are allowed much licence, but would be- 
come intolerable on departing so widely from 
truth and reality. 

Manthone. — This man had been minister of 
War under the republican government. When 
the Judge Speziale, interrogating him, asked 
how he had been engaged in the time of the 
Republic, he answered in the following brief 
but significant manner — " I have capitulated." 
To no other question would he vouchsafe the 
slightest reply. They advised him to make 
preparations for his defence. " If the capitu- 
lation," said this lieroic man, " defends me not. 


I should blush to have recourse to any other 


CmiLLO. — They inquired of this patriot 
what his profession had been ? "A physician," 
was the reply. " But during the Republic ?" 
" A representative of the people." And, before 
me, what art thou ?" pursued the Speziale, with 
a leer of triumphant malice. " Before thee V 
rejoined Cirillo — " a hero !" 

Cirillo was well known throughout Europe, 
by his numerous works, as a medical man of 
high reputation. He was in the enjoyment of 
a considerable fortune, which he employed no- 
bly for the advancement of science. His su- 
perb botanical garden included plants both of 
the rarest and most useful kinds. 

More than once had he supplied the resources 
of his art to Lady Hamilton, and even to 
Nelson himself; and yet he perished. It is 
true, conditions were proposed to him, but 
such as appeared to him to be dishonourable. 
He preferred death. 

Pasquale Baffi was perhaps one of the 
ablest scholars in Europe. He has published 
a translation, with the original text, from the 
Greek IMSS. of Philodemus, found amongst 
the ashes of Herculaneum. 

When this man was condemned by the 

2f 2 


Junta, a friend offered him opium. He refused 
it ; but soon proved that his refusal did not 
proceed from want of courage : like Socrates, 
he thought that every man upon the earth re- 
sembles a soldier upon his post, and that to 
abandon it wilfully could not but be culpable. 

Francisco Caracciolo. — The best marine 
officer in the service of Naples. To the aggran- 
disement and wise regulation of the Neapolitan 
navy his entire soul was directed. Ferdinand 
esteemed and loved him. 

AVhen the proper officers came to read to 
Caracciolo the sentence of death, he was seated 
upon the deck of a ship, explaining to several 
sailors, who surrounded him, the peculiarities 
in the construction of an English vessel which 
lay alongside them. Having received the fatal 
intelligence, he continued his explanatory dis- 
course without betraying any symptoms of dis- 
composure. They hung him at the yard-arm, 
and his body was thrown into the sea. Next 
day the corpse floated close to the flag-ship of 
Lord Nelson, where it was perceived by the 
King, who recognised, doubtless with feelings 
of extreme horror, the remains of his old 

Francisco Confortt. — The most skilful 
jurisconsult in the kingdom. He was the Gian- 


none, the Sarpi of our age ; had rendered the 
most important services to the Court of Naples, 
by combating, in his learned works, against the 
pretensions of the Court of Home, and in thus 
regaining for the royal treasury upwards of 
fifty millions of ducats. 

Francisco Mario Pagano. — This unfor- 
tunate man made, for the use of the republic 
which had been established in his native coun- 
try, a project of a constitution, which has been 
frequently printed, and merits well to have 
been, as it was, the object of several critical 

Mario Pagano was, a few years only before 
his death, universally considered one of the 
most enlightened legislators Naples had ever 
produced; he cultivated besides both poetry 
and tlie dramatic art. Amongst the theatrical 
pieces composed by him, a tragedy is particu- 
larly distinguished, entitled Corrad'mo^ full of 
situations the most interesting for a Neapolitan 
reader or spectator. The plot is taken from a 
portion of the national history. 

But his prepossession was always towards 
politics, and he predicted at an early period, 
with remarkable correctness, the numerous 
evils that followed in the train of the French 


The second edition of his Sag'gi Politici (Po- 
litical Essays) appeared during this unhappy 
period, and made a great sensation in a city 
where people read but little, and where even 
meditation is regarded as a fatigue. 

Ignazio Ciaja. — A young litterateur and 
poet, whose compositions were replete with 
sweetness, with grace and philosophy. His hu- 
manity was perhaps the cause of his fall, and 
that of his forlorn companion. They might, 
before they were yet completely blockaded 
in the fort wherein they sought refuge, have 
sallied forth, sword in hand, and fled into the 
Roman States : this was, in fact, the opinion 
and wish of the majority. Ciaja opposed him- 
self to the execution of this project, resolved, 
as he said, not to leave without defenders a 
crowd of women and children who had placed 
themselves under their protection to escape the 
fury of the populace. 

ViNCENzo Russo. — This man exercised, by 
his eloquence, an almost irresistible influence 
over the multitude. Arrived at the place of 
execution, he spoke for a considerable length 
of time to the people, and produced, as usual, 
a vivid effect upon their spirits. " Near five 
months after his death," says M. S. Cuoco,* " I 

* Saggio sulla Eivoluzione di Napoli; p. 298. 


have heard officers who assisted at the mourn- 
ful occasion, repeat word for word, with deep 
emotion, his last address." 

Eleanora Fonseca Pimentel. — In her 
youth, this woman obtained and merited, by 
her literary talent, the encomiums of Metas- 
tasio. At the epoch of the Revolution, she 
edited the " Moniteur Napolitain," a journal 
throughout which breathed the most ardent 
love of her country. This was the cause of 
her death. Before going to execution, she re- 
quested and drank a dish of coffee, and then 
walked to the scaffold not only with courage, 
but with apparent indifference. 

Several other females besides herself perished, 
for pardon was accorded neither to sex nor age, 
and amongst others the unhappy Santa-Felice. 
This truly respectable woman had never mixed 
herself up with political affairs ; but, happening 
to obtain intelligence of the conspiracy hatched 
against the Republic by Bacher, she regarded 
it as her duty to unfold the same to the Go- 
vernment. The conspirators had plotted to 
deliver Naples up to pillage, and conflagration, 
and massacre ; and Santa-Felice could not be- 
lieve that it would be right to conceal this in- 
famous intention, and guard a secret so fraught 
with horror. In this disclosure lay the whole 


extent of her crime against the Royal Go- 

We cannot follow up this painful but inte- 
resting catalogue, which would itself fill a vo- 
lume. In the provinces, thanks to the zeal of 
the emissaries of the Junta, who traversed them 
under the name of visitors, the extermination 
of the patriots was pursued with corresponding 
ferocity. Upwards of 4000 victims have been 
held to have perished, selected always from 
amongst the most noble, the wisest, and most 
distinguished of the nation. 

The cries of the unfortunate sufferers still 
filled the air, when the Court, under the aus- 
pices of the infamous Lady Hamilton, re-en- 
tered Naples in triumphal array. Never was 
there seen a succession of more brilliant fetes. 
The Rev. Mr. Eustace, who was at Naples at 
this epoch, has devoted several pages of his 
work to the description of the illuminations, 
balls, and spectacles, which took place upon 
this solemn occasion. The English were co- 
vered with favours and distinctions. The 
King, it is true, owed to them his crown, in 
the same way as Naples owed to Lord Nel- 
son the rupture of the capitulation, and to the 
Queen the massacres commanded by the Junta. 
In fact, it was at Palermo the list was di'awn 


out of those persons who were predestined to 
condemnation, whatever might be their line of 

But not only did the cries of these unhappy 
victims fill the air — they ascended to the hea- 
vens ; and a few years only passed before the 
merciless Royal Family were again hurled 
from their throne, driven into exile, and their 
heritance placed in the hands of a stranger: 
and so penetrated were their subjects with 
horror and detestation at the inhumanity and 
injustice which had marked their previous re- 
turn, that they accepted with joy the domina- 
tion of new masters. 



Nomination of Joseph Bonaparte to the throne of Naples. — 
Description of this Prince. — His favourite ministers, Sali- 
cetti and Rcederer. — Arrival of Joseph's Family. — Surprise 
of the Neapolitans at his recall. — Nomination of Joachim 
Murat. — Thoughts on certain portions of the policy of 
Napoleon. — Murat's peculiar character and talents. — He 
entertains all his poor relations at a banquet, upon his 
being invested with the title of Prince of the French Em- 
pire. — General characteristics and mistakes of Bonaparte's 
Kings. — Joachim's love of personal display. — Predomi- 
nancel of the military during his reign. — Caroline Murat. 
— Opinion entertained of her by Talleyrand. — Murat's de- 
termination to hold himself independent of Napoleon. — 
Bad faith evinced towards him by the French Emperor. — 
Retort of Joachim. — Mock invasion of Sicily by Murat. — 
Unfortunate piece of neglect, compromising the safety of 
the Neapolitan army. — Sir Hudson Lowe. — The Prince of 
Canisa — Death of Murat. — Latter days of Caroline Murat, 
at Naples. — Her conciliating and admirable behaviour. — 
Temporary incredulity of the Neapolitans as to Joachim's 
fate. — Explanatory sketch of the sect of the Carbonari. 

After Napoleon had declared, in conse- 
quence of the double-dealing shown towards him 


by the Neapolitan Court, that he was again in 
a state of war with that country, he added, in 
the usual emphatic style which characterised 
the announcement of his decisions, that " the 
dynasty of the Bourbons, in Naples, had ceased 
to reign." A French army rapidly traversed 
Italy, and appeared before the gates of the 
capital ; and the weak-minded Court again de- 
parted, on the news of its approach. 

Joseph Bonaparte, who was destined, in the 
first place, by his then all-potent brother, to 
succeed the self-exiled royal family, was not 
highly qualified to conduct any great measure. 
During the struggle which it was necessary 
to make in Calabria, for the purpose of esta- 
blishing his power, Joseph remained at Naples, 
occupied certainly, in some degree, in the or- 
ganization of his new kingdom, but still more 
intently in his amours and other pleasures. 
He left, for the most part, to his ministers the 
burden of public affairs. Two men, who had 
followed him to Naples, Salicetti and Rcederer, 
had the greatest influence over his mind. 

Salicetti, a Corsican like his master, and a 
man at once subtle and ambitious, was charged 
with the administration of the police. In or- 
der to render himself necessary to the sove- 
reign forms of his colleague, he appeai'ed to 


exercise the greatest zeal in laying snares for 
tlic discovery of plots and plotters against 
the new order of things. The greatest part of 
these plots were merely imaginary, or, if ex- 
isting at all, secretly fomented by his own 
agents. Having originated them, he punished 
witli severity the parties concerned, or alleged 
to be concerned ; and the short reign of Joseph 
was marked by a great number of executions. 

It was not to be imagined that a man could 
thus trifle with the feelings and lives of his 
fellow-creatures, without arousing a sentiment 
of vengeance. Although Salicetti was ready 
enough in discovering conspiracies which had 
no existence, his art availed him not to detect 
one which was really formed, and which proved 
all but fatal to. himself and his family. In the 
middle of the night a kind of mine was sprung, 
which had been constructed underneath his 
palace, part of which was thereby blown into 
the air. Salicetti was not killed ; but he re- 
ceived, as did likewise his two daughters, 
wounds which put their lives in danger. 

The most influential of Joseph's ministers, 
after Salicetti, was Roederer. This man, who 
liad acquired some reputation in his native 
country by his talents in literature and in 
matters relative to finance, and who possess- 


ed at the same time wit, taste, and firmness, 
was certainly by far the most distinguished 
person who followed Joseph Bonaparte to 
Naples, and the one who did most, or rather 
who did any thing at all, for the benefit of 
the realm. He proposed salutary reforms, and 
plans of organization well combined, but suffi- 
cient time was not allowed him to put them 
fully into execution. 

Whatever other talent, however, this minis- 
ter possessed, he certainly had not the art to 
render himself beloved. He was rouefh in 
manner, wanted urbanity, and was harsh in 
his measures towards men whom it was requi- 
site to manage^ and to attach as much as pos- 
sible to a new government. Instead of ex- 
citing their love, therefore, he drew upon him- 
self their aversion — an aversion reflected from 
himself upon his master. 

The arrival of Joseph's family at the capital, 
together with the perspective operations of his 
government, all combined to make it believed 
that the new King was destined by his brother 
to possess definitively the throne to which he 
had been nominated. It was not, therefore, 
without surprise, that the inhabitants of Naples 
learned, a short time after, that Napoleon had 
summoned his brother to Bayonne, and pur- 


posed to encircle his brow with a diadem still 
more brilliant. Joseph, in announcing his new 
destination, made it known, at the same time, 
that his successor was to be Joachim IVlurat, 
his brother-in-law. 

He did not quit Naples without having be- 
stowed on it a constitution which might serve 
as a model for future sovereigns. But there is 
small certainty of a man's designs and provi- 
sions being put in execution, when he himself 
is no longer on the spot personally to overlook 
and direct them. 

The talents, policy, and kindness of his bro- 
ther, had called Joseph Bonaparte to play a 
splendid part upon the theatre of the world ; 
but he did not show himself worthy of the 
favours lavished on him by fortune. He had 
received at Pisa a good education, had ac- 
quired much useful knowledge, and possessed 
an interesting figure. During his embassy at 
Rome, and in the negotiations at Luneville, 
he had appeared to considerable advantage. 
But, withdraAVTi from his proper sphere, and 
mounted to a rank too elevated for his powers, 
he was incapable of commanding either the 
good-will or respect of the people submitted 
to his sway. 

Of all the brothers of Bonaparte, this (the 


eldest, though by a single year) was the one 
on whom, wdth a sort of blind confidence, he 
rested the hopes of forwarding his own am- 
bitious views. Joseph was however nothing 
more than an instrument in the hands of Na- 
poleon. He had passed successively through 
several honourable employments, and had been 
entrusted with sundry important diplomatic 
missions before he was made a king. In 1797 
it was, that Joseph filled the situation of Am- 
bassador at Rome, where he conducted him- 
self, as has been said above, with a good deal 
of spirit and judgment. The foUow^ing year he 
was a member of the Council of Five Hundred ; 
subsequently Counsellor of State; and then 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Government 
of North America. In 1802, he concluded the 
treaty of Amiens; which, had it been observed, 
would have wrought much benefit to France, 
and spared a good deal of blood and treasure to 
various other parts of Europe. AVhen the Im- 
perial Government was estabhshed in France, 
Joseph was nominated Prince and Grand Elec- 
tor ; two or three years after, he was installed 
as Sovereign of Naples ; and, after a little 
farther lapse of time, seated upon the uneasy 
throne of Spain. 

Of a character calm and reflective, he passed 


for being the sage, the pliilosopher of his fa- 
mily ; yet this reflective turn was a good deal 
dashed, on his accession to the Neapohtan 
crown, by a course of dissolute pleasure. His 
administration in that country was, however, 
of too short duration, to enable one to form 
any decisive ideas respecting it. 

It seems to me to have been an impolitic step 
in Napoleon to surround himself with, and 
attempt to consolidate his power by a number 
of new kings. Instead of interfering openly to 
overturn, in foreign states, their ancient poli- 
tical institutions, he should have left them to 
form new ones for themselves. The influence 
of his great empire must have spread widely 
and deeply ; and he might then have had re- 
quisitions for his brothers, brothers-in-law, and 
generals, instead oi forcing them, as it were, 
upon his neighbours. To impose new kings in 
place of those who had been chased by the 
growth of popular opinions from their thrones, 
and to establish a new aristocracy of his own, 
was calculated, as the event proved, to alienate 
both popular affection and confidence. 

By a proclamation dated at Bayonne, Joseph, 
as we have seen, announced to the Neapolitans 
his fresh destination and the new sovereign 
wliom his brother had imposed upon them. 


The inhabitants of this king-worn metro- 
polis, habituated, for some eight centuries past, 
to a constant change of masters, to see their 
ancient monarchs give place to others, then 
return, and perhaps again quit, to return again ; 
grown indifferent to this species of novelty, 
and even perhaps at length admiring it, receiv- 
ed King Joachim with the liveliest transports. 
This sovereign could not boast of illustrious 
ancestors : born in the very lowest rank of so- 
ciety, he owed his fortune altogether to the 
marriage which he concluded with the sister of 
Napoleon. But, with a handsome person, in 
the very flower of his age, brave even to rash- 
ness, lively in manners, and given to enjoy- 
ment, he needed not the additional gift of pro- 
found judgment to render him acceptable to 
the gayest and most ardent nation of Italy. 
He was, in truth, as active as Joseph had been 
indolent ; and loving power through natural 
pride, gave himself up to pleasure through na- 
tural temperament. He had a complete pas- 
sion for glory ; and perceived that it was ne- 
cessary to signalize, by some striking act of 
valour and audacity, his accession to a throne, 
in order that he might inspire the love of the 
people, the dread of malcontents, and the re- 
spect of enemies. 

VOL. I. 2 G 


It must be confessed, tliat Bonaparte was 
never seconded by any one, in his gigantic pro- 
jects, so blindly and so daringly, as by Murat. 
It was he who had the shameful honour of 
causing Charles IV. of Spain to abdicate, and 
of drawing him, with his family, to Bayonne, 
where he fell into the lure which Napoleon 
had spread. Thus did Joachim pave the way 
along which Joseph Bonaparte marched to 
take possession of the throne of Spain ; and 
was himself rewarded by the crown of Naples. 
If Joachim was capable, however, of executing 
grand projects, he had not a similar power in 
conceiving them ; he was a hand, not a head ; 
an excellent soldier, but not a man of genius. 

Murat had a good deal of vanity ; neverthe- 
less he could sometimes play the modest man, 
of which we will furnish the reader with an 
example. Having been admitted as a member 
of the Imperial family, witli the title and dig- 
nity of prince, he repaired into the department 
wherein he was born, and where his connex- 
ions still resided. Having gathered them to- 
gether, rich and poor, he treated them with an 
excellent dinner. He detailed his successes in 
life, and the splcndoiu' of his present situation. 
Many of his auditors were humble enough in 
rank, and miserable enough in appearance ; but 


he shunned no one. The new prince had indeed 
already acquired the lordly quality of blush- 
ing at nothing. Every one, even the most dis- 
tant of his kinsmen, found in his benefactions 
a new sort of existence. We leave it to those 
versed in casuistry to decide whether his actions 
exhibited most clearly the arrogance of ostenta- 
tion, or the frankness of an open-hearted sol- 

If the abstract principle of the right of con- 
quest be admitted, the Emperor of the French 
had an undoubted claim to dispose of the throne 
of Naples. Nevertheless, one cannot help feel- 
ing astonishment at the decree by which Bona- 
parte put his " dear and well-beloved cousin, 
the Prince Joachim Napoleon," in possession of 
the " crown of Naples and Sicily," and provided 
for a long succession thereto. Now, that this 
extraordinary family has fallen into its original 
obscurity, their audacity is really matter of the 
greatest surprise. How strange to see them 
parody, in their acts, the forms and styles of 
ancient diplomacy; compose brilliant courts; 
follow, even in the minutest details, the pre- 
scriptions of Gothic etiquette ! If these new 
prince^ had been possessed of true merit ; if they 
had been worthy of the elevated rank which they 

2 G 2 


were called to occupy ; they would have fol- 
lowed a wholly different road. They would 
have accustomed the nations to their dominion 
by degrees, and adopted a style of manner sim- 
ple and frank. It was not for them to affect 
the absurd and humiliating etiquette in use 
in the courts of other khigs, and which, at this 
time of day, no longer imposes even on the 
most uninformed. They should have shunned 
these outworn things; and replaced fantastical 
denominations, and the formula of ancient ser- 
vitude, by a code of manly politeness and ra- 
tional distinction. Instead of being grotesque 
copyists of former kings, (and they could be 
no other than grotesque,) they should have as- 
pired to become models for future ones. But 
they seem to have had no clear judgment either 
of their peculiar situation, or of the requisitions 
of their age. 

Thus, before arriving at Naples, Murat 
caused himself to be preceded by a proclama- 
tion, wherein, after having passed, in the true 
kingly strain, several high-flown compliments 
to " the glorious nation over which he was 
called to preside," he announced tliat in the 
course of a few weeks he should be " in the 
midst of his people, with his august spouse, 


the Prince Royal, Achllle Napoleoji, and his 
little family, whom he should with pleasure con- 
fide to their love and fidelity." 

He promised faithfully to observe the con- 
stitution proclaimed by his " august predeces- 
sor" (Joseph) ; but this is precisely what he for- 
got to do during the six years of his reign. It 
was only two or three days previous to his com- 
plete overthrow that he seemed to recollect, that 
if a constitution was generally a benefit to the 
people, it might upon occasion be the safeguard 
of a king. He therefore published one, which 
is a new monument both of his valiity and of 
the tyrannical cunning in which his " august 
brother-in-law" had doubtless given him les- 
sons. The prerogatives of the kingly power 
are there detailed at full length : there is like- 
wise a section devoted to the " grand officers 
of the crown," which list includes the grand 
almoner, the grand chamberlain, the grand 
equerry, the grand marshal, the grand hunts- 
man, and the grand master of the ceremonies. 
What ! could not the son of the innkeeper of 
Cahors contrive to reign in Naples without 
such an idle train as this ? 

A king of the Bonaparte school was almost 
necessarily a lover of pageantry and form. Mu- 
rat, always dressed in the showy style of a 


tlieatrical monarch, delighted to exhibit him- 
self as a spectacle in all the grand solemni- 
ties that went forward. His court was spark- 
ling and voluptuous ; but this pomp and lux- 
ury cost the nation dear. It was necessary to 
augment the taxes in order to provide for these 
expensive follies, and the people naturally mur- 
mured ; this was the sure means to make them 
cast back their eyes to their former rulers, whom 
they might, in the fondness of desire, imagine 
were at length purified through misfortunes 
from their failings. 

Nevertheless, some of the acts of Joachim 
were doubtless worthy of eulogium. He had 
too strong a predilection for the soldiery;* but, 

* The disorders committed by the soldiers of Murat were 
excessive. In the provinces the military commanders were 
true despots ; tlieir will, even their caprice, was law : the 
officers of the legions recently organized, presuming upon 
their new privileges., were daily guilty of the most atrocious 
acts of violence and insolence toward their fellow-citizens : it 
might be said that their excesses made the people look back 
M'ith regret even to those epochs, generally considered so 
disastrous, when the system of feudal domination existed. 

In the very capital, under the eyes of IMurat, his body- 
guard gave themselves up to all manner of license, and they 
resembled an undisciplined corps of janissaries rather than 
any other. The civil power was not only overruled, but 
defied. The writer one day saw several officers of police 
assailed at their post, bound, and dragged rudely through 

MADAME muhat. 455 

ill other branches of the administration, effect- 
ed very beneficial alterations. He saw that to 
throw tclat upon his government, he should 
appear, at least, to be the protector of men of 
letters, and in reality did something for their 
encouragement. During several years thou- 
sands of hands were employed in the excava- 
tions of Pom])eii. The Queen, Caroline Murat, 
interested herself particularly in the discoveries 
which were made in that ancient town. She 
loved those monuments of art, decorated her 
palace therewith, and generously remunerated 
those who brought them. 

The character of Caroline Murat, like that of 
her rival and namesake, the wife of Ferdinand, 
does not seem to be very well understood. She 
has been generally thought ambitious : yet, 
even if so, her ambition was of a more rea- 
sonable complexion than that of her ill-starred 
husband. Thus, when he left Naples to head 
his army, after the return of Napoleon from 

the most populous streets, even under the windows of the 
royal palace, for no other reason than because they had found 
themselves compelled to arrest one of the comrades of these 
turbulent officers;, who had disturbed, by his insolence, the 
public tranquillity at a solemn fete ! Constantly was the 
peace of the city violated by contests between the guardsmen 
and other troops belonging to the garrison, and blood was shed 


Elba, and when his views were undoubtedly 
advanced to the regaining of the independence 
of all Italy, and the nomination of himself as 
its sovereign, she professed herself altogether 
averse to the measure, saying repeatedly, to a 
man who esteemed and wished her well, — " Is 
it not enough for a peasant of Cahors to oc- 
cupy the finest throne in Italy ? — No ! he 
would have the entire peninsula." 

" Madame Murat had the head of Cromwell 
upon the body of a well-shaped woman. Born 
with much grandeur of character, strong mind, 
and sublime ideas ; possessing a subtle and de- 
licate wit, together with amiability and grace, 
seductive beyond expression ; she was deficient 
in nothing but in the art of concealing her 
desire to rule ; and when she failed in attain- 
ing her end, it was because she sought to reach 
it too quickly." 

Such was the sketch drawn of this interest- 
ing ^^'oman by a masterly pencil, that of tiie 
Prince of Eenevento, (Talleyrand,) whose ge- 
neral shrew^dness, and opportunities of inter- 
course with tlie person he is characterising, 
renders his testimony extremely valuable. 

It is, however, pretty generally thought, 
that Caroline was often the soiu'ce of dissen- 
sions between IMurat and her brother, in whose 


eagerness for power, she, beyond question, 
largely shared. She would have had her hus- 
band play the part performed by Bacciocchi, in 
Tuscany. Napoleon, who always accorded to 
his brother-in-law the quality of great courage, 
had nevertheless judged indiscreetly of him in 
other respects ; he thought to have swayed 
him as easily as he did his brother Louis in 
Holland. He had imagined, that the Sarig- 
liano would become, like tlie Elbe, nothing 
else than one of the arteries of the grand em- 
pire ! But both brother and sister were mis- 
taken in their man : Murat, whilst he v/as 
King, appeared resolute to bear no interference 
with the internal regulations of his kingdom. 

If Napoleon had uniformly used good faith 
in his conduct to Murat ; if, in 1813, instead of 
ordering him to put all the Neapolitan army 
under the command of Eugene Beauharnois, 
he had placed Joachim at the head of the entire 
French army in Italy, Murat (as all the French 
officers then in tlie service of Naples attest) 
would have sacrificed even his crown to sus- 
tain the interests of France. Joachim would, 
in that case, have conducted liis whole force 
into Upper Italy ; and what might not have 
been effected by a consolidation of troops so 
considerable ! The three armies, French, Ita- 


lian, and Neapolitan, united, miglit have in- 
spired the greatest apprehensions for the safety 
of the capital of Austria, and the affairs of 
Europe have once more undergone a change ; 
but to require that his brother-in-law should 
commit the army he had himself organised to 
an inferior Prince, and remain almost wholly 
undefended at Naples, exposed to the constant 
attacks of the Anglo-Sicilians, was so singular 
a piece of injustice and folly, as to strengthen 
the universal idea, that towards the last years 
of his reign, Bonaparte's giddy elevation had 
operated to divest him not only of fair dealing, 
but of common sense. 

In fact, his jealousy of Joachim, whom he 
had himself invested with power, was displayed 
in sundry remarkable ways. Having consum- 
mated his marriage with a daughter of Austria, 
and every thing appearing to proceed accord- 
ing; to his most sanouine wishes, and far be- 
yond even his most ambitious expectation, he 
formed a design of reconciling to him one of his 
oldest and most implacable enemies, and by 
that means at once aggrandizing his power, and 
removing the subject-king, wlio had given 
indications of a refractory disposition. With 
this view, he actually opened a correspondence 
with Caroline, wife of Ferdinand. 


Murat no sooner became acquainted with this 
extraordinary circumstance, (which at first he 
could scarcely credit,) than he perceived how 
dangerous the prosecution of such a corre- 
spondence would be to his own power. He 
saw before him the prospect of being bereft of 
his crown, even by the same hand that had 
placed it on his head ; and resolved to take, 
without delay, such measures as might appear 
best calculated to preserve him from such a 
reverse of fortune. 

From this moment, all the Frenchmen who 
were residing in his territory became objects 
of suspicion to the ephemeral King of Naples. 
He saw in each an agent destined by his bro- 
ther-in-law to contribute to his political extinc- 
tion. Under these impressions, he issued the 
famous decree, by virtue whereof it was or- 
dained, that all the French, resident at Naples, 
should naturalise themselves in the country, on 
pain of exclusion from such offices as they 
miffht be filling. 

Some of these individuals tarried not until 
this order was signified to them ; they desisted 
from their employments, and returned to France. 
Others refused to comply with the provision, 
and were expelled. In vain did the Queen, as 
well as the minister of war, oppose themselves 


to this measure. Joachim, irritated, dismissed 
the latter, and intimated his will that he should 
quit the kingdom. Discussions, and those of 
a very warm character, ensued, as may be sup- 
posed, between Joachim, his wife, and Napo- 
leon himself, which would doubtless have re- 
sulted most unfortunately for Murat, had not 
a matter of far greater importance (the invasion 
of Russia) called off the attention of the Em- 
peror, and indeed of all parties, from the sub- 

Another specimen of the French Emperor's 
growing jealousy of his brother-in-law, was his 
forbidding him to put his threats into execu- 
tion of invading Sicily, v/hich, at the time that 
his power was strongest, he seems inclined to 
have done. Napoleon willed not that one of his 
own generals should undertake in his absence 
so important an enterprise. 

He had des])atched, in the situation of com- 
mander of the French troops employed in the 
kingdom of Naples, Tiieut.-General Grenier, 
with secret instructions that the King of Na- 
ples should not be permitted to compromise, 
by his temerity, the French forces committed 
to him. There was, doubtless, a still more se- 
cret motive for these instructions, whereto we 
have given the reader a clew. We will add a 

napoleon's jealousy of muhat. 461 

few details of the debarkment which really did 
take place upon the Sicilian shores, and which 
was at the time so abundantly talked of. 

The end proposed by the French Emperor, 
in suffering Sicily to be menaced, had been 
fulfilled, since the English were compelled to 
abandon their views upon the Isle of Corfu. 
The breaking up of the camp of Piale, and the 
departure of Joachim for Naples, were there- 
fore about to ensue. But, in order to restore 
the King to his good humour, which had suf- 
fered much in consequence of his being thwart- 
ed in his ulterior designs, it was concerted be- 
tween Grenier and himself, that, previous to 
sending the army into its cantonments, they 
should make, in the night, the feint of a de- 
scent on the Sicilian shore, whereby observa- 
tions may be made of the gTeatest possible ser- 
vice in guiding the King's operations at some 
future period, when the drama they were now 
rehearsing should be really acted — that is to 
say, when Bonaparte should give his permis- 
sion. In order clearly to understand the exe- 
cution of the project concerted between Murat 
and Grenier, it is necessary to take a hasty 
glance at the relative disposition of the troops 
collected in the Straits of Messina. 

The French divisions, comprising the elite of 


the troops of that nation, together with the 
Neapolitan Royal Guard, occupied the heights 
stretching from the battery designated Torre- 
cavallo, to the village of Catone. The Neapo- 
litan division, under the orders of General Ca- 
vagniac, occupied Reggio and its neighbour- 
hood, as far as the battery of Pentimela, and, in 
consequence of this position, was at a distance 
of eight or nine miles from the French troops. 

The generals of both corjDs d'armee received 
orders that, upon such a day, and on such an 
hour of the evening, all the troops should be 
sent on board the vessels in attendance, which 
were to be ready to set sail at a given sign 
from the royal camp at Piale. 

But the division of Cavagniac, situated, as 
has been already mentioned, at a distance from 
the centre of the operations, and which, it was 
thought, must be intended to act elsewhere by 
way of a diversion, received particular instruc- 
tions. The general himself was directed to 
embark his corps towards ten o'clock, p. M. and 
to make for the opposite shore, between Sca^- 
letta and IMessina ; above all things, to be at- 
tentive to the signals which should be made 
at Piale ; and that if he should perceive the 
fire of two or three rockets, he should arrest 
his progress, and return to Pentimela, where 

MURAT'S expedition against SICILY. 463 

he had embarked ; because this signal would 
import that the main army had not put to sea. 

Before two o'clock, a. m. the whole of the 
troops under Murat's command were embarked 
— the King and all his personal staff on board 
the superb royal gondola. All the Neapoli- 
tan world believed that the expedition was at 
length determined on, so well was the secret 
kept. The soldiers prepared their arms, and 
thought of nothing but conflict ; the chiefs of 
the main body alone were aware that all these 
manifestations announced a departure, instead 
of an expedition. 

But, by some incomprehensible fatality,* 
the signals concerted to announce to General 
Cavagniac the necessity for returning to Penti- 
mela were never made. The unfortunate Nea- 
politan division, therefore, proceeded on its 
way, and disembarked, unsupported, upon the 
Sicilian shore. What ensued, it is not our 
purpose to recount. 

The famous Sir Hudson Lowe, the guardian 
of Napoleon in the Isle of St. Helena, com- 

• It is said, indeed, that the general officer entrusted with 
discharging the rockets was asleep, and awoke not until broad 
day, when the time for making the signal was altogether 
gone by. 


manded Capri, when Murat conceived and exe- 
cuted the project of reducing it. He was then 
Colonel of the royal Corsican regiment, corn- 
loosed of deserters and emigrants from that island. 
Sir Hudson had himself created and organised 
this regiment, which formed, together with the 
royal Maltese regiment, the garrison of Capri. 
Tiie too-celebrated Prince of Carosa occupied, 
at the same time, the Isle of Ponza. It was in 
these two islands that various plots are said to 
have been got up against the power of Murat, 
and the French influence in Italy altogether ; 
and it w^as even reported, that the destruction 
of the house of Salicetti (Joachim's minister 
of police) was likewise projected here. 

The fate of Joachim Murat, the first and 
last king of his race, is well known, through 
several interesting accounts. He died denying 
the authority of the commission whereby he 
was condemned, and refusing to appear before 
it. Indeed, setting aside his claims (whatever 
they may amount to) as a sovereign, his rank, 
as a Marshal of France, should have been suffi- 
cient to preserve him from the dictation of a 
set of very inferior officers. Thus, however, 
perished a man, Avliom nothing but a revolution 
without ])arallel in tlie history of the world, 


could have elevated to the rank he once held. 
His character we have already attempted to 
sketch, as well as that of his Queen. 

The circumstances of the latter days passed 
by Caroline Murat at Naples, have a melan- 
choly interest. Six days before the embark- 
ation, which was to convey her away for ever 
from that country wherein she had acted, during 
so many years, a splendid part, she received, 
in the morning, the officers of the fleet, and in 
the evening took an airing in public. She was 
seated in a calash drawn by six white horses ; 
her countenance was unruffled ; her salutations, 
both to the right and left, numerous and grace- 
ful. She was followed by the chevaliers of the 
national guard, whose hussar uniforms, blue 
and silver, made a very striking show. Even in 
losing her power, the Queen rendered herself 
conspicuous by the affability and easy gracious- 
ness of her manners and address. Her reso- 
lution was evident, in remaining, at such a 
period, without any troops of the line, in a 
city wherein it is so easy to excite a bloody 
revolution. Naples, in fact, owes to her pre- 
sence the calm which then spread itself through- 
out that vast metropolis. She gave a new im- 
pulse to the national guard, which only a few 
days previously had passed in review before 

VOL. I. 2 H 


her. She was then on horseback, and the 
colours of her dress were uniform with those 
worn by her body-guard. She found some 
kind word to address to each officer, excited 
universal acclamations, and interested every 
heart possessing the least spark of feeling, in 
the fate of a woman so accomplished and so 

When, having despatched her children to 
Gaeta, she renounced all farther claim to the 
regency of the kingdom, she was sent on board 
the Tremendous, from which vessel she could 
hear the cannon which celebrated the entry 
into the capital of that family which came to 
displace and supersede her own ; she could hear 
the shouts of that fickle populace which had so 
often applauded herself. On the evening of 
that, to her, sorrowful day, she could see Na- 
ples illuminated, and not Naples alone, but all 
the other towns on the coast. In that gay me- 
tropolis she was no longer anything, and the 
day of her departure was one of tumultuous 
rejoicing. How many illusions must be renoun- 
ced in descending from a throne ! The diadem 
casts a shade before the eyes of its w^earer, 
which, in falling, discloses bitter truths ! 

The final enterprise, the judgment and ex- 
ecution of Murat, were candidly and imme- 


diately communicated by the government to 
the nation whose destinies he had co recently 
swayed. When the relation had been made 
public throughout that realm, the factions (if 
any still existed) were struck with astonish- 
ment; and, in spite of the evident authenti- 
city of a narrative thus promulgated, Joachim's 
death, for some period of time, passed for fabu- 
lous in a large portion of the kingdom. 

We will conclude this division of our sub- 
ject, by giving some account of the sect of the 
Carbonari, which Murat at first persecuted in 
the most violent manner; but which, during 
the latter period of his reign, he found it eligi- 
ble to conciliate, becoming, in fact, their chief- 
tain and lawgiver, and endeavouring to press 
into their ranks all his officers, both civil and 

This curious caste, which was originated 
nearly twenty years ago in the kingdom of 
Naples, and has since spread not only through 
the other parts of Italy, but into the adjacent 
countries, is a species of masonic society ; but 
it is likewise a sect, inasmuch as evangelical 
doctrines serve amongst its members as a poi?it 
d'appui for the introduction of political opi- 
nions and projects. It is from hence its great 
influence is doubtless derived. Jesus Christ is 


considered by them as a type, which they view 
in a way calculated to inspire a particular emo- 
tion ; namely, as having been the victim of the 
cruellest tyranny. Hence it comes, also, that 
every class of people, the lazzaroni of Naples, 
the inhabitants of the country, and even the 
friars and other priests, constantly joined the 
Carbonari, and professed themselves to receive 
the greatest edification at their meetings. To 
these meetings they gave the name of Vendite^ 
a place of merchandise, or market. It is the 
trade in coal which furnishes them with many 
symbolical terms, as, in the same manner, the 
art of building gives to Freemasons the ex- 
pressions and formulae used and practised in 
their lodges. 

The principal object for which the Carbonari 
originally associated themselves, pui'ported to 
be, freeing the country from the wolves where- 
Avith it was infested ; by which term they ty- 
pified all tyrants, or enemies to public liberty. 
They have sundry technical words and sym- 
bols amongst which the cross predominates. 
When they take the hand of another person, 
they trace upon the palm with their thumb 
this holy figure. 

In the assemblies of this singular body, 
every thing tends to democracy. They profess 


to adopt, in all their primitive purity, the 
maxims of the evangelists. The devotees of 
the sect recount, with infinite satisfaction, 
the miraculous changes which have been ope- 
rated by it. In the metropolis, the fiercest 
lazzaroni, in the mountains of Calabria and 
Abruzzi, the most desperate bandits are stated 
to have been won over, by initiation into the 
sect, to acts the most elevated, and humanity 
the most tender. 

It is beyond doubt, that the first purpose for 
which this society was instituted, was to dis- 
cover and denounce to the French (then mas- 
ters of the country) the enemies of the Repub- 
lic, dangerous because unavowed. It quickly, 
however, lost this particular character, and 
took, as we have seen, a more expansive one. 





Cy k Santa Barbara 





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